Salento covers a tiny 2,057 square miles, 17% smaller than Delaware. It is located in Italy’s most eastern point, across the sea from Montenegro, Albania and Greece. And even the Greece of 2,800 years ago. At that time, the Salentino shores were peacefully invaded by the Greeks, a highly developed civilization who introduced their techniques in viticulture and olive-growing. To this day, the region is full of bush-trained vineyards and olive groves, something left over from the Greeks. Equally Mediterranean is Salentino vegetation. In fact, its 1,500 species are found mostly in the eastern Mediterranean, but not in the rest of Italy. The climate in Salento is more humid than in the northern areas of Puglia, though rainfall is also scarce. The soil of Salento is also quite distinct in color, predominantly reddish owing to high levels of iron (in central and northern Puglia, this blood-red hue is much less frequent). The fact is that Salento is historically and geographically separate from Puglia. The principal grapes were both introduced by the ancient Greeks: Negroamaro and Primitivo. Today, Negroamaro is hardly found anywhere else. It yields a deep-colored red whose full, rich, round flavors truly make an impact. As for Primitivo, it stars in one of the region’s major DOCs, the complex, full-bodied and elegant Primitivo di Manduria.