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New Italian wines

November 6th, 2016

Our resident wine expert, front of house and co-owner of William & Victoria, David Straker, recently visited San Mazano Wine Company in Puglia, Southern Italy as a guest of one of our wine suppliers Hallgarten Druitt. The Puglia region is a strip of land between the Ionian and Adriatic seas where vines and olive trees flourish side by side on the red soil surface.

David was wined and dined in the spectacular Restaurant Grotta Palazzese, built inside a cave in Polignano a Mare – this has to be one of the most stunning locations for a restaurant.

On a tour of the San Marzano, David witnessed the winery in full swing, as many of the 1200 growers who supply the co-operative of San Marzano, were queuing up with their hand picked crops of grapes. The grapes are first weighed and graded by sugar content and then tipped into the press for the juice to be extracted.

All the grapes have to be hand picked to ensure the grapes remain whole and undamaged so the fermentation process cannot start before they are dropped into the press. He saw this year’s harvest of primitive being pressed and sent to the fermentation tanks. This year is widely regarded as another good year, so watch out for Primitivo vintage 2016!

On the final evening of the trip David dined at La Lampore al Fortino based in Trani along with many Italian restaurant and food bloggers. Another superb dining experience that showcased the fabulous wine of the region.

He was so impressed with the San Marzano wines that he has added several to our wine list.

During October we were delighted to welcome export manager, Angelo to William & Victoria. He spent an afternoon with the W&V team giving a private tutoring on the wines that we have selected for our wine list.

Some of the W&V team were lucky enough to have a personal tutored tasting from Angelo from San Marzano Wines in Puglia, Italy. The wines were all amazing, but we are particularly taken with the Verdeca Talò which is superb with seafood and any spicier dishes – we’re selling it by the glass, so give it a go with some of our bar tapas.

We already list the Primitivo, which is the first grape variety to be harvested in Europe and has a fuller fleshier flavour. The elegant and versatile Malvasia Nera (also available by the glass) is great with belly pork, venison and game dishes. For something really special, try the 62 Anniversario made from grapes from 75 year old vines or the Collezione 50 for a smooth wine with great structure made with a mixed vintage of 50% primitivo and 50% negron grape; this one is best decantered and perfect with steaks and big meaty dishes.

Please come in to try them.