Primitivo is a red wine grape and is the third-most planted grape in Puglia (IGT), Southern Italy. It is also known as zinfandel and it has been grown in Italy since the 1700s. Primitivo has found its ideal habitat in the Terre Di San Vito’s iron-rich, soil and the result is our delicious Cantiniere Primitivo.
Puglian wine culture has changed enormously over the past 20 years and currently, Primitivo is grown on about 11,000 hectares of land in Puglia and this is constantly increasing.
This variety owes its name to its early ripening. It comes from the Latin “primativus” and Old Italian “primaticcio” (both meaning “first to ripen” or “early ripening”). In the second half of the eighteenth century it was a monk from Gioia del Colle with a passion for botany, who was the first to give the variety its Latin-derived name connected with its early ripening.
All the growth stages of this variety from the flowering to the colour changes are early - it is one of the first grape varieties to be harvested in Puglia – usually at the end of July or early August. The Primitivo vine is averagely vigorous and gives low-medium yields.
The typical grape cluster is small and elongated, loose with round berries. The skin is delicate and quite thin, and for this reason it is sensitive to humidity and moulds. Our Primitivo wine is high in both alcohol and tannins, intensely flavoured and deeply coloured.
The new-look Primitivo that is now being cultivated in Puglia, is no longer just a blending variety, it is now the historic grape behind many of southern Italy's flagship wines – our Cantiniere Primitivo is a perfect example of this.