Masseria Cuturi

Manduria, Puglia

In 1881, the Countess Sabini brought as her dowry "barbatelle" cuttings of Primitivo when she married Don Tommasso. They planted the first primitivo vineyard in Manduria and began the story of this land as a treasured site for the grape. Named by Pliny as “the town full of vines,” Manduria was highly important among the 12 city-states of the ancient Messapian Dodecapolis. Masseria Cuturi is a magical location, not only for organically farmed local grapes, but for woodlands, 500-year-old olive trees, elegant 18th century farm structures, megalithic walls and other ancient archaeological relics. Acquired by the Rossi Chauvenet family in 2008, the property includes 40 hectares of vineyards, 80 hectares of olives groves, and over 100 hectares of wild herbs.

Enthusiasm for each monovarietal bottling is embodied by the characters on the labels. Tumà, nickname for Don Tomasso, is the face of the Primitivo. Farmer Zacinto favored the Negroamaro, so much that he hid away barrels for his own secret stash. The Segreto di Bianca,  an aromatic, salty Fiano (Minutolo), is named for the Countess herself.

Camilla Rossi Chauvenet is known for making lifted, elegant wines in Veneto, where she is known as a pioneer of innovative organic viticulture. Here in partnership with winemaker Valentino Ciarla, as always, the vision of winemakers is only one thread. The wines are also born of an extraordinary soil, cretaceous limestone under layers of iron-rich quaternary deposits. They’re born of the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, in conversation with the two prevailing winds, the strength of the mistral and the glamour of the scirocco. Culture itself as terroir: how a simple bottle can lead us back from the sun on last year’s vines, to this exact location as the cradle of modern Primitivo, itself the heir to the historic “merum” of Puglia, beloved in an ancient world.