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Salento

Copertino

SALENTO: THE SEA AS HORIZON

Who is borne in this far patch of Italy has a lot of difficulties in imaging different landscapes, a one without vines and sea. Salento area is full of this crops, which, sometimes, extend up to the seaside.
Salento, the ancient Messapia, is a quite flat plain, all on the sea, a strip of land rounded by and between two seas. A world made of sto- nes whose evidence is given from the natural architecture of stone walls and “caseddhe” (=small houses), rural buildings used in the past as shelter by peasants; up to all the monumental richness of churches, cathedrals and castles.

Lecce is the highest expression of Barocco, the result of the curving of soft local stone called “pietra leccese”, finely embroided from expert hands of the artist.

Through all Salento you will be fascinated by the changing gradations of colours: from the silvery green leaves of centennial olive trees to the polychromy of maquis, who grows on a thankless soil, up to ash gray of slightly rich soils and red hues of terra rossa, no more than few inches of rust lying on hard rock. The plentiful of colours and floavours of its produces express a proper identity strongly linked to natural benefits from this territory.

COPERTINO: A LAND OF SAINTS, ARTISTS AND WINES

Large landed estates (latifundia), feudal lands, illustrious men, and really relics of its architecture, able to stand to the centuries, tell a story in which Copertino has its high value of cultural inheritance. Convertino, also named in times Cupertino, produced renowned people, like Brother Giuseppe Desa, Evangelista Menga and Gianserio Strafella. Most known is Fra’ Giuseppe, famous ascetic man, rised to altar honours as Saint Giuseppe da Copertino, the flying saint, who gave impulse to religious life of that time with his ecstasies, prophecies and taumaturgic power.

Evangelista Menga was a militar architect who planned also the city Castle, a superb building among the better feudal castles remained today. And in the same Castle, in the Saint Marc Chapell, we can still admire frescoes from Gianserio Strafella, admired painter.

First evidences of a local viticulture are from the beginnings of the XVI century and wines from the wide Copertino feud was known as well as its Castle, which was house of queens, princesses and proud knights. Wines were one of the main local commercial goods in that time, delighted the Brienne, D’Enghien and up to Castriota luxurious life, but even quenched men’s thirst during the long days spent in defence of the Castle from the continuos enemies assaults.

Negroamaro is the grape from which are produced Copertino D.O.C. wines. The regulamentations for the production of this wines assu- re and are in respect of the characteristics of this grape, one of the best variety from Apulia.

THE SOIL, THE CLIMATE

The soil all around the town of Copertino is a clay of various composition on top, hard or tufaceous rock underneath, medium fertility in near-flat plain country, between 30 and 60 metres above sea level.
Climate is tipically mediterranean, with its mild winters and warm-humid summers, on which essential is the sea mildening effects. Rain is poor, about 400 mm in a year.

Such conditions are favorable to a balanced full ripeness of grapes and sustain varietal expression. Wines produced are rich and fruity.