Tenuta Giustini

Primitivo Avoglia


Primitivo, Zinfandel or Tribidrag? These wines are all made from the same grape but planted in different places leading to the different names. Almost everyone agrees, today, that Italy’s Primitivo and California’s Zinfandel are genetically the same grape. At some point in history Primitivo arrived in Puglia in Southern Italy from the coastal vineyards of Croatia (just across the Adriatic Sea), where it is still grown today, under various names including Tribidrag and Crljenak Kasteljanski. After landing in Puglia, this black grape took root surprisingly well and in the early 19th Century, Southern Italian immigrants, brought their native grapes to California where it took the name of Zinfandel and it is today the fourth most planted wine grape.

Primitivo is one of the first grapes to be picked in Italy. Indeed, the name Primitivo translates roughly as "early one" and refers to the variety's early-ripening nature. It shares this quality with Spain's Tempranillo: “temprano” means "early" in Spanish. With 11,000 hectares of this grape planted, Puglia is Primitivo’s home in Italy. Primitivo is a grape variety difficult to grow and many hectares have been destroyed under the EU vine-pulling scheme in recent times. It is not the most resistant variety, as it is susceptible to drought, spring frosts and floral abortion. The bunches are very compact and susceptible to vine pests and they tend to ripen unevenly. The berries accumulate sugar easily (hence the high alcohol strength) and they have a very good concentration of anthocyanins (hence the dark deep colour of the wine).

Primitivo had been a popular blending grape but it is now being made into distinctive, high-quality, wines. Primitivo has made a name for itself as accessible without becoming expensive. It is smooth and easy to drink with its spiciness and supple fruit without losing complexity. Primitivo grapes give big, bold wine high in alcohol with medium levels of tannins and acidity. They show flavours reminiscent of ripe dark berries – like blueberry and blackberry – as well as liquorice, tobacco and black pepper. Primitivo is a terroir sensitive grape and the location and climate where it grows can have some influence on the style of the wine. Travelling around Puglia one can come across with extra rich, luscious and full bodied Primitivos from the hotter province of Taranto (Primitivo di Manduria DOC), Lecce and Brindisi (Primitivo Salento IGT) in the Southern part of the region. Here the vines are generally planted on flatland rich in red sand and clay, “terre rosse” in Italian. On the other hand, in Northern Puglia (province of Bari), Primitivos tend to be fresher, nervier with greater acidity. Here vines are planted on hillside vineyards between 250 and 500 meters above sea level on shallow calcareous soil rich in minerals. Grapes benefit of higher altitudes, wider day-night temperature shifts and lower average yearly temperatures compared to hotter areas in Southern Puglia.

Primitivo Avoglia is a very elegant Primitivo, with dark wild berry fruit and lovely balance of fruit and freshness. A good quaffing wine which will be excellent with pasta with meaty sauces, chicken and ham, and soft cheeses.

8 years old vines are planted over 5 ha in San Giorgio Jonico, near Taranto, at 60m asl on calcareous soil rich in clay. 

Grapes are harvested at the beginning of September. The fermentation takes place in thermo-controlled stainless steel vats. The wine refine only in steel tanks and in the bottle.

A very elegant Primitivo, with dark wild berry fruit and lovely balance of fruit and freshness. 

A good quaffing wine which will be excellent with pasta with meaty sauces, chicken, ham and soft cheeses.

Vintage: 2021
Grape: Primitivo
Region: Puglia
Alcohol (ABV): 13.5%