Nero di Troia…one of Italy's best kept wine secrets

If you’re like me and you love to drink wine, a vacation in Italy would not be complete without a visit to a vineyard or at least a wine tasting. And no matter where you go in Italy you will, without a shadow of a doubt, be able to taste some of the best wine in the world.

On my most recent family trip to Italy this past summer I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the region of Puglia. A beautiful region well known for its olive oil pasta and cheeses, Puglia is also a powerhouse of wines as well. The red varietals typically associated with Puglia are the Primitivo and the Negroamaro, which are both amazing. However, I was introduced to one of the lesser know varietals this summer and it was love at first taste. Nero di Troia is the third most important red wine produced in Puglia. Legend has it that the original vine shoots were brought over to Puglia by the Greek hero Diomedes as he escaped the ruins of Troy and settled in this new region. Nero di Troia is a very versatile grape. It can be blended with other grapes or can be produced as a stand-alone wine, both with excellent end results.

Thanks to the wonderful and extremely knowledgeable team of Donna and Paola of Sapori del Salento wine tours, my family and I were able to tour the establishment of Cantine Ionis, a wine cooperative where Nero di Troia is produced. The owners and staff could not have been more lovely and seemed genuinely happy to show us around and teach us about their wines. They clearly took a tremendous amount of pride in all of their products and particularly their Nero di Troia. As I mentioned earlier, for me it was love at first taste, a wine so pleasing to the palate, so smooth and so silky, it was hard for me to stop at just a couple of sips! We ultimately purchased many a bottle to take home with us and I am guarding the few that I have left with a very watchful eye!

Ultimately, a vacation in Italy would not be complete without tasting any and all products typical to the region you’re visiting, especially the wine. There are plenty of guides available to help you navigate the best places and the best experiences. So hurry up and start planning your next trip!