Winerist visits… Puglia

horse_riding_at_Le_Fabriche-880x455Caught in between two seas, Puglia is the land of beautiful architecture, some of the clearest waters on the European continent, and a mouth-watering food and wine culture. Even today Puglia is an undiscovered part of Italy, making it the perfect destination for a beach holiday or for a spring/autumn long weekend escape.

Puglia is the home of rich history and the purest Moorish-Italian baroque architecture. It hosts hundreds of striking frescoes, baroque churches and relics which reflect a diverse artistic development as well as its military past. As you drive down the peninsula, the striking faces of Lecce, Ostuni – also known as the white city, present the perfect place for people watching and seafood abundant lunches. From here, you can drive through iconic villages where men and women grin at you as they drink lemon water leaning against whitewashed buildings. The expressions on their faces will speak of an incomparable quality of life.

Not To Miss

Puglia has an expansive coastline, also known for being home to more than 60 million olive trees. You can stop at olive oil refineries, speak with the locals and to have a good taste of the famous focaccia Pugliese. Later on you can explore the medieval towns with Lecce, Ostuni, Gallipoli, Otranto and Triulli with its the mysterious cone houses in the Istria valley.

Gastronomic Paradise

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Many say that food does not get better than this in Italy. For the pure gastronomic experience, you must try a cooking class in a traditional rustic kitchen with a local Nonna. Make your own bread or orechiette and learn the secrets of local ingredients. Puglia hosts year round gastronomic events celebrating its culture, wine, traditions and art. Some popular festivals include, Cantine Aperte (May), Calici di Stelle and Mercatino del Gusto (August), Benvenuta Vendemmia (September), Pane e olio in Frantoio (November) and a countless number of village festivals called “Sagre” which celebrate food and of course wine!

Where to Stay

One of your best night sleeps  will also be in Puglia. Hidden amidst palm trees and peaceful vines, you will find agriturismos where authenticity and luxury is king. Affordable and dreamy, the Masserias here offer anything from gourmet classes, horseback riding and spa. You can unwind with a glass of wine – most of these produce their own local varieties, and let yourself be spoiled on a perfect holiday.

Where to Taste

705_temp_file_Puglia_0991-880x455Puglia has mastered the art of winemaking when it comes to warm-climate wines made with indigenous grapes. Conti Zecca in Lecce is a great place to start. You can enjoy a generous glass of Malvasia Bianca or Fiano and continue with reds such as Algianico and Primitivo. With over 7 grape varieties to choose from at this vineyard, you are likely to find your favourite here.

Local white wines are crisp, refreshing and drink so perfectly with seafood. The reds are rich in red berry, concentrated and show great balanced of tannins. Salice Salentino is planted to Negroamaro (sometimes blended with Malvasia Nera) for hearty reds.  The wine history of Puglia is fascinating! Interesting work is being done with crisp Bombino Bianco white wines and Moscato di Trani – if you are a sweet wine kind of perso.

The beautiful coast, rustic countryside, and superb food and wine, make Puglia the perfect place for a culinary and wine vacation. Your wine holiday can be complemented by other relaxing activities such as yoga and bike riding through the countryside. Moreover, the healthy mix of delicious local ingredients, seafood and local olive oil and wine will make your experience unforgettable.

Puglia in London

For a first taste of Puglia, embark on a great culture, food and wine journey in London by going no further than Apulia, the newly opened restaurant in Clerkenwell. Here you can taste delicious Southern Italian food with superb wines in a cosy atmosphere. And if you have joined the Winerist community, you will be receiving a glass of wine on the house!

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Tatiana Livesey and Diana Isac

Tatiana Livesey and Diana Isac are co-founders of Winerist, which launched in 2012. Their interest in wine and travel was at the core of their business idea - it was, however, their determination to change the world of wine travel online that gave www.winerist.com the integrated format it has now. Winerist offers travellers all the information they need about their region of choice, and allows them to book hotels and tours without needing to visit lots of different websites.

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