Earlier this month, we took a group of visiting wine writers and wine blogger to visit some of our best growing sites for Negroamaro in Salento not far from the winery.
Many of the Negroamaro vines that we use for our Salice Salentino, our Teresa Manara Negroamaro (which will be coming to the U.S. later this year), and our rosé are old and knotty like this one.
We could increase our yields if we were to grub these vines up and plant new and more productive vines.
But nothing can match the quality of old vines like this: The rich flavors and aromas and the acidity of their grapes are ideal for producing nuanced yet fresh wines with depth and complexity.
Most of our Negroamaro vineyards, like this one, are “bush-trained,” meaning that the canes of the vines are trellised but rather that they are allowed to grow like a tree. In fact, the Italian name for bush-trained vines is called ad alberello or “little tree” training system.
Because the vines are not uniform, they have to be harvested by hand and with great care.
Cantele uses a seasoned team of pickers who has been working with the winery for a number of years, explained Cantele’s vineyard manager Cataldo Ferrari who led the tour of the vineyards.
All of them are locals who know these vineyards intimately and thus know which bunches to pick first, which to pick later, and which to discard.