Cantine San Marzano is a leading winery in Puglia, founded in San Marzano di San Giuseppe by 19 winemakers in 1962. Located in the centre of the Primitivo di Manduria DOP, it has made its own wines using modern vinification methods since 1996.
Winemakers Caterina Bellanova and Davide Ragusa, who both grew up in Puglia, are responsible for carrying on the traditions of the region.
Combining tradition, passion and contemporary craftmanship, Cantine San Marzano produces a range of wines intrinsic to the Puglian landscape: Verdeca, Negroamaro and Primitivo among them. It also produces a sweet wine made from Primitivo in the region’s first DOCG: Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale.
Among San Marzano’s range of wines, its Sessantanni is one of the finest. Sourced from bush vines over 60 years old, planted on fine red soils rich in iron oxides over a limestone subsoil, this Primitivo di Manduria embodies the philosophy of the winery: original and contemporary yet paying respect to tradition. It offers intense plum, cherry and jam aromas followed by a full-bodied, soft and rich palate. 12 months in French and American oak gives it a pleasant spiciness with notes of coffee, vanilla and chocolate.
The Collezione Cinquanta was conceived as a one-off wine to celebrate San Marzano’s 50th anniversary in 2012, but its popularity encouraged the winery to make it a permanent part of the range. A non-vintage blend of indigenous red varieties, primarily Primitivo and Negroamaro sourced from old bush vines, Collezione Cinquanta has no regional indication and is labelled simply as Vino d’Italia. Yet it speaks of the land and the winemakers’ expertise, and a Gold Medal at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards is testament to its quality. This is a powerul wine displaying beautiful balance and complex notes of red fruits, plum, jam, spice, vanilla and liquorice. It spends 12 months in barrel before bottling.
In 2015, San Marzano invested in the abandoned fields of Masseria Samia in Salento on the Ionian coast. Transformed into a sustainably managed 120ha estate of mostly experimental vineyards, the winery pursues research projects such as enhancing the genetic diversity of long-lost varieties and clones. The data collected from these projects and from numerous weather stations benefits all of San Marzano’s wines, helping to predict the best time for harvest.
The surroundings have been planted with a wide range of hardy Mediterranean flowers, herbs and trees in order to create a ‘green-lung’ for the area, facilitating the winery’s aim of creating a fully self-sustaining environment. Easily identified by the restored 16th century manor house at its heart, this estate will soon be open to guests, providing a unique venue for functions.
Find out more: www.sanmarzanowines.com