Puglia is located in southern Italy, in the heel of the “boot,” just across the sea from Albania and Greece. It is 7,469 square miles, and of all Italian regions, it is the least mountainous, making up just 1.5% of its surface. About 53% is flat and 45% is hilly. Rivers are very scarce and so is water. But the region’s coast is the longest in mainland Italy, totaling 834 kilometers (518 miles). The soil is unique to the region, often dark red, porous and calcareous, rich in humus and iron, reminding us why terroir is so important.
The climate is typically Mediterranean: the coastal areas and plains enjoy hot, dry and windy summers and mild winters. The scanty rainfall generally comes well after harvest, in late fall and winter. The inland plains feature amazing differences in temperature between summer and winter: the Tavoliere (“lowland”) can go from over 40 °C (104 °F) in summer to -2/-3 °C (28.4/26.6 °F) on winter mornings. The most important grapes of the region are certainly Primitivo and Negroamaro as well as Verdeca, Greco Bianco and Moscato for whites. There are 86,711 hectares (214,267 acres) under vine for 5 million hectoliters of wine as well as four DOCGs and 29 DOCs.