After a two-year hiatus, we are celebrating the return of Varius, a wine that represents an on-going “experiment” in the Cantele portfolio. As its name reveals, it is a “variation” of traditional Pugliese blends. We had taken a break from this label because it was time. Starting in 1999, the blend has included Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Montepulciano. In one of the last blends, Merlot took the place of Montepulciano. And the final “variation” was a wine made solely from Merlot grapes.
In this new version from the 2016 vintage, Varius is a blend of Negroamaro, the king of Pugliese grapes, and Susumaniello, a variety that originated in the Balkans. Its name comes from the fact that it was once considered a workhorse grape, a somarello or donkey in Italian, thanks to the density of the grape bunches as they ripen. Today, of course, growers keep the yields low but the name has stuck. It’s been a few years that we have been thinking about working with this historic Salento grape variety from, which has been only recently revived by winemakers here. It has a very small berry, with a high concentration of polyphenols and anthocyanins. Rich in color and low in acidity, it’s the ideal partner for Negroamaro (with its lighter color and higher level of acidity). The result is a fresh and youthful wine, aged in stainless steel, with good structure and approachability.
As we were saying, Varius has always been an experimental wine. And this new version includes a big innovation: a glass closure. And that’s big news for a Pugliese winery. It represents an elegant solution for those who want practicality without having to use a screw-cap (a closure still under-appreciated in Italy). The cutting-edge glass closure ensures the wine’s balanced evolution while protecting the wine from defects and effectively conserving the wine’s aromas (the oxygen transmission rate is roughly 0.0026 ml per day). The consumer can also re-use the closure (with the Varius logo) for other bottles.
“Life’s only constant is the pleasure of change.”
That’s the slogan we’ve created for this new release of Varius. The concept behind the campaign is easy to grasp: We want to remind wine lovers of the many lives of Varius and we want to tell the story of its immense potential as a blend of native Pugliese grape varieties.
It’s an entirely unique wine that tells the story of life’s only constant: Experimentation can only lead to positive change and positive change, in turn, delivers only genuine pleasure.