Italy – Discover the Primitivo Grape

by tarynlachter

If you’ve heard of Zinfandel, then you are aware (perhaps unknowingly) of its twin, Primitivo.

Primitivo has been around for far longer but has gotten much less publicity than it’s fraternal counterpart, the Zin.

Currently, the former resides in Puglia, Italy but it arrived there via Croatia somewhere in the 1700s.

If you’ve heard of Zinfandel, then you are aware (perhaps unknowingly) of its twin, Primitivo.

Primitivo has been around for far longer but has gotten much less publicity than it’s fraternal counterpart, the Zin. Currently, the former resides in Puglia, Italy but it arrived there via Croatia somewhere in the 1700s. It went fairly unnoticed but in the early 19th century, Zinfandel showed up in America and made a splash. There’s a lot of disagreement about how the grape made its way to our shores but it was recently confirmed that they are the exact same varietal. While they may seem identical to the casual drinker, the trained palate can sense the differences.

The grape currently grown in Puglia, Italy is known formally as Primitivo and it’s a lovely red grape. They are full-bodied and tannic with earthy notes and fruit flavors like strawberry and blackberry. To see more about its twin, Zinfandel, see the video below:

Cline Family Cellars from New York Wine Events on Vimeo.

Primitivo grapes are grown in four main appellations. Primitivo di Manduria DOC is the most widely known and is the most commonly found. These are successful in iron-rich soils and tend to be more fruit forward.

Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG is the classification for the sweet wines of the famous Manduria region. They are usually late harvest and get their delectable rich sweetness from the Appassimento process, where grapes are dried to maintain their sweetness.

Gioia del Colle DOC is more towards the southeastern end of the Puglia and feels a warmer climate. This results in a wine that is quite robust and on the higher end of tannic than the Mandurian Primitivo. 

And finally there is Salento IGT, or Indicazione Geografica Tipica, which means the grape can be made into any wine from around Italy without the restraints of the DOC or DOCG. This Primitivo grape tends to be used in blends, particularly those that want to use more than 15% of another grape.

Although it has a bit of a dramatic history, Primitivo is a treasured grape. It’s deep red color and full-bodied nature makes it quite drinkable all year round, especially if you’re already a lover of Italian wines. The highly tannic quality lends a great accompaniment to feasts of meat and hearty vegetables, and will keep you quite warm in the winter.



FEATURED EVENTS

New York Wine Events

October 23, 2021

A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Piedmont Italy: Barolo and Barbaresco tour

Oct 23 – 30, 2021
6 nights, 7 days
Milan, Barolo, Alba, and Turin

RESERVE NOW
New York Wine Events

September 23, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kotti Berliner – Food & Wine Pairing

Join us for a Virtual Food & Wine Pairing with Brooklyn’s Kotti Berliner. Explore delicious döner kebabs paired with wine. Meet Kotti founder, Erkan Emre.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

September 16, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Broadbent Selections – Portugal

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with one of America’s leading importers of high-quality Portuguese wines.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

September 2, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Cusumano Winery – Sicily, Italy

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with the maker of the #1 selling Sicilian wine in the U.S.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 26, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kunde Family Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. The Kunde family has farmed an 1,850-acre estate in Sonoma Valley for 100 years.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Great wine starts in the vineyard.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Dutcher Crossing Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Distinctive and hand-crafted wines produced from award-winning vineyards.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

June 12, 2020

At Your Home

RGNY At-Home Blending Session

Be your own winemaker for a day — guided by a professional on Zoom video!

PURCHASE KIT & ZOOM TICKET
New York Wine Events

May 29, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Virtual Wine & Pizza Tasting with Jamesport Vineyards

What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 21, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Chateau Montelena Winery Virtual Tasting

This tasting will be epic.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Monte Bello winery

The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 18, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Tenuta di Lilliano Virtual Tasting

Very special tasting. Don’t miss it!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 15, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Pedroncelli Winery Virtual Tasting

Four Generations of Family Pride at Pedroncelli Winery, since 1927

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 14, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Provence Rosé Group Virtual Tasting

The best rosé in the world comes from Provence.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 13, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

St. Francis Winery Virtual Tasting

Voted “#1 in America” in 2013 and 2015 by Open Table customers.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Lytton Springs

The New York Times described Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon as America’s greatest.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 11, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Oak Farm Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit the famous wine-growing region of Lodi County, California – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 8, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Goldschmidt Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit Sonoma County – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

April 18, 2020

Marlboro, NY

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

GET TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 7, 2020

New York’s Premier Winter Wine Event

NYC Winter Wine and Food Festival

Enjoy a winter getaway without even leaving the city.

GET TICKETS
New York Wine Events

January 19, 2020

Riverhead, NY

RG|NY Blending Session

Join RG|NY winemaker Lilia Perez, for a unique tasting and blending session.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

December 14, 2019

Ulster & Orange Counties, NY

Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday wine tasting event in the Hudson Valley. Sales end Thursday, Dec 12 at 11:59pm!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 14, 2019

New York, NY

Around The World In 10 Wines

Experience a global tasting in 2 hours with award-winning artisan cheese and charcuterie

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Wineries to Visit This Summer
We love summertime. A big blue sky, long sunny days, and so many wineries to visit! There’s no better way to spend a summer weekend than by visiting the gorgeous wineries of New York and sampling the incredible wares of our local industry. We don’t like to play favorites but we do have favorites. The - Read More
Read more...

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

Wines for Your Summer Picnic
It’s officially summer and that means it’s time for some outdoor activities! We’re big fans of a good ol’ fashioned picnic, down to the baskets and cute blanket. And what goes better with a picnic than some wine? The thing about picnics is everything needs to be compact and transportable, which is why canned wine - Read More
Read more...

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

French Wine 101: The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley happens to be one of the largest wine regions in all of France and is such an abundant growing area that it’s known as the “Garden of France.” At almost 190 miles long, the Loire Valley region starts just outside of Paris and runs along the Loire River down to Orleans and - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE