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Leone de Castris “Salento Wine Dinner” at Furnirussi Tenuta in Puglia

Written by Aksel Ritenis


Leone de Castris SALENTO Wine Dinner at Furnirussi

From the Diary of Axel Ritenis

(First Published in 2011)

Leone de Castris is one of the top producers in Puglia and since 1665 the Leone de Castris family have operated the oldest winery in Puglia. Amongst their achievements, the firm is credited with the invention of the famed red wine called Salice Salentino DOC over 50 years ago.

Their large holdings produce a wide range of wines, some of which were on tasting at the dinner.

From my experience tasting the wines in and around Lecce and other locations in Puglia, at different bars and Restaurants, this renage of wines is interEsting in its diversity, and the wines are very reliable, if not excellent in quality and value.

The estate is situated on lands of ancient vine growing and wine making tradition in Salento in Puglia. Salento is located on the “heel” of the boot that is geographically know as Italy. The “terroir” is renowned for their content of clay and “tufo” which support the many varietals that are grown in this part of Italy’s south.

The Salento Peninsula gets more than its fair share of hot sunshine. Luckily the vineyards are well ventilated by the Mediterranenss soft and constant breezes that blow across the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The Phoenicians, in about 2000 BC, so loved this area for grape production that they called it Enotria.Although the vineyard operations of Leone de Castris are not strictly certified as organic, in essence however they are. This is similar to many European vineyards that have always managed their holdings in a “natural biological manner”. The vineyards are cared for using organic practices such as the placement of natural fertilizer around the vines and intra-vigna growth of grasses to cut down on any troublesome weeds. Aggressive pruning in the vineyards is practiced to reduce any biological interference with the grape’s growth. This ranges from insect infestation to skin rusts. Thus, the vines are aggressively pruned back and the harvest of grapes is highly selective. The production facility at the famous winery is ultra modern and the winery now turns out award -winning wines year in and year out.They also bring to the market, some of the most outstanding values available from any large Italian producer. Perhaps the most celebrated of their wines in the US and other markets is the red the Salice Salentino!

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave this wine 90 points and their tasting notes are as follows:

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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