Cantina Vespa

Italy | Puglia

The wines at the Vespa winery and estate in western Puglia are vinified by one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, Riccardo Cotarella, who became one of the most influential Italian winemakers of all time during the 1990s when he had a hand in creating some of the country’s most highly rated and collectible wines in Tuscany and Umbria. Known as the “mago” or “wizard,” he was one of the architects of the Italian wine renaissance that took shape at the end of the last century and the early 2000s.

This small “boutique” winery owns just 25 hectares of vineyards planted in the iron-rich red soils of Manduria, the spiritual homeland of the Primitivo grape variety. While Primitivo is grown across the region of Puglia, it’s in Manduria where it achieves its greatest expression: Thanks to the unique soils found there and the maritime influence of the nearby Ionian sea (a stone’s throw from the estate), Cotarella is able to craft deeply flavored, rich expressions of Primitivo that retain wonderful freshness and acidity. The winery also makes a lighter style Primitivo from the Salento peninsula in the east and a white from a rare local clone of Fiano.