Taranto produces many varied...
Taranto produces many varied wines, from red to white to sparkling wines. You must see and taste some oth the great treasures of this reqion. Around 1910 olive growing in Apulia (mainly in Lecce) went through a severe crisis. At the same time vineyards in Taranto were giving a satisfactory income to producers. The average was of 436 liras per person, but where grape growing was widespread the income reached 700 and even 1.000 liras. It is easy to understand why agriculture was the most wanted job at that time in this area including Sava, Manduria, and Martina Franca. Over there thousand hectares were turned into vineyards. In Martina Franca, for example, 10.000 hectares of a total amount of 28.000 hectares were transformed in vineyards and given to 8.000 owners at the end of last century.
Martina Franca planted its vineyards in a valley between the hills of Locorotondo and Cisternino. It is here, in the so-called D'Itria Valley, that peasants used to plant local vines such as Verdeca and Bianco di Alessano which originated the DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) 'Martina Franca'.
On the other side of the Province of Taranto it is worth remembering the existence of a vine growing of high quality. We are talking about the DOC 'Lizzano' and 'Primitivo di Manduria' that you can find in: Manduria, Carosino, Monteparano, Leporano, Pulsano, Faggiano, Roccaforzata, San Giorgio Jonico, San Marzano, Fragagnano, Lizzano, Sava, Torricella, Maruggio e Avetrana, and partially in Talsano and Taranto.
Peasants are specialised in vine growing and they teach their secrets to their sons. Wine is an old tradition in the Province of Taranto. In the past vine growers used to move a thin layer of land to detach it from the rocks underneath. Then they added a layer of rubble to filter and preserve the rainwater, and cover it with 60 to 70 cm of land. This system was very useful in the frequent case of drought.
Presently the method used in vineyards is the so-called 'small tree' which explains the high quality of locally produced wine, together with climate and other environmental factors. Those wines offer a wide range of choice to consumers upon the vines of origin.