Learn About The Ins-and-Outs of Italy’s Beautiful Puglia Wine Region & Wine Styles

The town of Locorotondo in Puglia (Apulia), Italy. | Puglia Wine Region Information

Known as the “heel of Italy’s boot”, Puglia has a longstanding winemaking tradition, as it is one of Italy’s largest wine producing regions. Historically, most of the wine coming out of Puglia had been simple, cheap table wines meant for local consumption and supermarket export trade. However, this is no longer the case due to stricter regulations and local winemakers emphasizing on quality over quantity. Another important factor in Puglia’s shift towards more quality-oriented wines is thanks to outside investment from well-renowned Italian producers such as the Antinori family. Puglia now has over 25 DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and 4 DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) areas.

RELATED: Learn More About Italy’s Wines and Wine Regions

The cliffs of Santo Andrea in Salento, Puglia, Italy.
The cliffs of Santo Andrea in Salento, Puglia, Italy.

Long and narrow, this Mediterranean region is what dreams are made of. A delightfully warm climate, beautiful green landscapes, stunning architecture and majestic views of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas complement the region’s extremely fertile soils and vast sea life, making Puglia home to some of Italy’s best food and wine. It is also a leading region in olive oil production, accounting for almost half of Italy’s overall production.

The town of Gravina | Puglia Wine Region and Towns
A breathtaking view of Gravina, within the Puglia wine region.

Puglia, also known as Apulia, is the land of voluptuous reds made with indigenous varieties. The three most important red grapes are Negroamaro, Primitivo and Uva di Troia (also known as Nero di Troia). Negroamaro is the most widely grown grape in the region and it is used to make some of the region’s best wines, including the budget-friendly and rustically delicious Salice Salentino. Primitivo delivers deep colored wines with ripe berry, spicy notes and a refreshing acidity. Fun fact, Primitivo is the same grape variety as California’s Zinfandel, native to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Look for Primitivo di Manduria and Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG, a sweet wine, as they are luscious examples of this grape. Uva di Troia makes the powerful, robust Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva DOCG.

Alberobello, Puglia, Italy | Puglia Wine Regional Information, Towns and Wine
The cosy town of Alberobello within Puglia (Apulia), Italy.

Other red grapes planted in the region include Malvasia Nera, sometimes blended with Negroamaro; Aglianico, Campania’s main grape; and Bombino Nero, which is used to make some lovely fruity rosés and red table wines.

Due to Puglia’s warm Mediterranean climate, white wines account for a small percentage of the total production, however, they should not be dismissed. Indigenous grapes such as Bombino Bianco, Fiano Minutolo, Bianco d’Alessano and Verdeca are producing some interesting results, occasionally blended with international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. There are also some lovely, crisp wines being made from Greco and Malvasia.

Tasting wine is a sensorial experience, which makes Puglia the ultimate wine travel destination. I suggest taking the next flight out, carefully select a spot next to your favorite thousand year-old olive tree, let that Mediterranean breeze caress your skin and uncork the best Puglia has to offer.

Get Articles Like These Directly in Your Inbox!

Subscribe to Winetraveler and receive notifications when new articles are published.

Lydia Richards on FacebookLydia Richards on InstagramLydia Richards on Twitter
Lydia Richards

Originally from Panama, Lydia’s love affair with wine began while living in Paris and having the opportunity to travel to multiple French wine regions. After moving to New York, she worked in Marketing and PR for multiple industries before pursuing her dream of transitioning to the wine industry. Lydia worked as a Marketing Manager for the Wine Cellarage, a fine wine online retailer, and currently works at Colangelo & Partners, an integrated communications agency focusing on wine, food and spirits, working with their Spanish and Italian accounts. She is a Certified Sommelier from the Sommelier Society of America and is currently pursuing her WSET Advanced Level Certification.


Lydia is the owner and founder of Vino Concierge, a NYC-based wine consulting and private events company. Her wine expertise and travel experiences have been featured in media outlets such as Vinepair.


  1. Fantastic article! Looking forward to trying that budget-friendly and rustically delicious Negroamaro!

Leave a Reply