Puglia (Apulia) forms the heel of the Italian peninsula’s boot, running up the Adriatic coast to the boot’s “spur.” Its capital and largest city is Bari. As one of the least mountainous of Italy’s regions, located in the sun-baked south, Puglia is a major agricultural area, for grapes and wine as for other products. In the wine world, Puglia is still not particularly well known, but as quality continually improves, its wines are attracting great interest. It has 4 DOCGs, 28 DOCs (see map on this page), and 6 IGPs. Puglia’s production has increased tremendously in the last several years, up 70% in the past decade. It is currently holding at 9.8 million hl (108 million cases) of wine a year, comfortably laying claim to the second spot among Italy’s wine-producing regions that used to be fought over by Emilia Romagna and Sicilia (Veneto continues to rule the roost). Puglia’s DOP production is just 7% of the total, as it continues to focus on bulk wines from its 88,040 ha (217,500 acres) of vineyards. The region’s primary grape varieties are Sangiovese (15%), Primitivo (14%), Negroamaro (14%), and Trebbiano (13%).

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