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Thursday, June 20, 2024

San Marzano : the must-have primitivo !

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Already highly appreciated by wine merchants and restaurants, the winery San Marzano, located in the beautiful region of Apulia in southern Italy, is a real success story for all winemakers wishing to add value to their wines. These have become references on their controlled appellations/denominations. So why & how? Discover one of the most beautiful places in the world and its wines, constantly growing !

San Marzano is a small Italian village located in Salento, in the heart of the DOC Primitivo di Manduria, between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. This is where 19 winemakers decided to join forces to realize their dream : make their wines references on this DOC. They founded the Cantine San Marzano, proving that it is possible, with work and passion, to go from bulk wines to the production of great wines. History of a group of producers who knew how to value its wines !



The territory of Apulia well known for its beaches, heritage, cuisine and olive oil, is now considered the most interesting region of southern Italy in terms of wine. It contains a handful of DOCG wines, including Primitivo, which designates both the controlled appellation (Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale DOCG) and the varietal from which this wine is produced. Cru often considered as “great wines” with a price that can remain very reasonable.



“Unity is strength” is the mantra of this group of producers ! In 1982, Francesco Cavallo was appointed Chairman of the Board of directors of Cantine San Marzano. He is the one who supervises the vineyard, he is undoubtedly the shepherd of the company. While setting the foundations of society, this eminently charismatic character continues to make plans for the future to ensure the sustainability of the estate and its wines.

It was in 1996 that the first bottles came out of the cellar. And it is the members of the Cantine who have financed the modern bottling plant themselves. This purchase marked a turning point in the development of San Marzano, which will now be in close direct contact with the end consumer.

The Sessantanni, Primitivo di Manduria Dop, which embodies the essence of the philosophy of San Marzano, is one of the greatest wines in the canteen. It was created in 2000 with the aim of : “Make a wine like our fathers and make it original and contemporary”. It is thanks to this wine that San Marzano is among the leaders of the DOP Primitivo. Because this wine represents its terroir and is the expression of millennial traditions, it has become a classic.

Finally, in 2015, San Marzano acquired Masseria Samia, a 16th century farmhouse, located a few steps from the Ionian Sea. This vineyard is dedicated to research on grape varieties and it is also the place where San Marzano receives its guests and friends to tell its story, offer tasting courses, or share knowledge about wine and cooking.



Here the wines are always deep, rich, intense and both structured. All benefit from the influence of the sea air and a good rate of sunshine. Fine and generous wines, relatively tannic, to married with dishes that look like them, like red meats and game.

The Primitivo Salento IGP, is aged in stainless steel vats and offers freshness. It is a robust wine with aromas of cherry, black plums, spices, and wild herbs.


The Collezione Cinquanta, Vino Rosso d’Italia, comes from different red grape varieties typical of the region. The grapes are harvested by hand with cold pre-fermentation maceration (a technique that allows the fruit to express themselves better), indigenous yeasts (naturally present in the cellar), and aging in vats is followed by aging in French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine acquires more roundness and suppleness and the finish on the palate is long.


Finally, Sessantini, the signature wine of San Marzano, is made with the best parcels from 60 year old bush vines. The grapes are harvested manually and very ripe. Like Collezione Cinquanta, the wine is produced with indigenous yeasts. Aging is done exclusively in French and American oak barrels for 12 months. It is a very intense and elegant wine, ample and complex, with notes of cocoa, coffee and vanilla on the finish. To put on all the tables !

In addition to their divine wines, San Marzano also produces its own olive oil… A delight …

Find them on their website, or on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

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