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Food to Taste

The most important Apulian food and wine routes.

In Minervino Murge, we recommend stopping for lunch at the Masseria Barbera, a construction dating back to 1800, where tourists can admire expanses of olive trees and rows of vines all around. The recent renovation has turned the barns, with lamia vaults and ancient limestone slabs on the go a welcoming dining room, where you can taste typical dishes and products accompanied by Barbera wine and extra virgin olive oil.

Visit to the Marchione castle, the ancient hunting residence of Giangirolamo II Acquaviva d’Aragona, also known as the Guercio delle Puglie. (One-eyed man of Apulia). Dinner at a typical large Apulian farm, dating back to 1500, located in the Conversano countryside, in the ancient fiefdom of the Counts of Acquaviva d’Aragona . Once destined to be a lavish country residence, where aristocrats used to dabble in the art of hunting, today it is the ideal destination for people who love to discover Apulia’s culture, history and traditions in a familiar atmosphere of total comfort. Here, you can enjoy the best local dishes combined with excellent regional wines.

In the town of Noci, we recommend a stop at the Salami factory, allowing you to visit the establishment and the boar breeding farm. Tasting the delicacies of Murgia, like Sfizietto, a pork sausage made with fennel seeds, or naturally cured Coppa Murgia. Visit to the Cantine Barsento, wine cellars consisting of two large rooms carved out of the limestone rock, one used for ageing and the other for the refining of wines. Tourists can taste the many high-quality wines produced by the Colucci family, such as Patruno, a ruby red wine with an intense fruity aroma. Lunch in the restaurant next to the cellar, with tasting of typical Murgian dishes accompanied by the winery's best wines and Barbera extra virgin olive oil.

An agricultural town of considerable importance with a good production of both olive oil and wine, resulting in the DOC wine of the same name. In the myriad of trulli that populate the Itria Valley stands the Cantina Sociale Cooperativa di Locorotondo wine cooperative, today a milestone in the production of Bianco Locorotondo white wine.

In Fasano, you can visit the oil mill of the Sant’Angelo de Graecis farm. The farm dates back to the 12th century AD. On the left of the building there is an interesting crenellated tower. In the 13th century AD, it became property of the monastery of Monopoli in Santo Stefano, while in the fourteenth century it became part of the cardinal’s estate. Until 1665, it was a grange of the abbey of the Greek monks of San Nicola di Casole in Otranto. In 1693, the property passed to the Imperial Cardinal who built the church there, introducing the cult of San Lorenzo Martire. The farmhouse, built with blocks of "carparo" (tuff typical of the Murge area) with a typical yellowish colour, is located on the right of the complex and corresponds to the sixteenth-century and oldest part of the farm. In front of the farmer's house stands a very white eighteenth-century oil mill building, recently renovated and used as an Olive Oil Museum. A great many tools used for olive oil production can be found here, including the large millstone, the pools in which the olives pressing are deposited and above all the huge wooden presses. Behind the main building, there is an elegant citrus grove. Among the countless examples of the farm’s architectural and scenic beauty, the most valuable element is the chapel, the most majestic of the rural ones in the territory, erected at the expense of the imperial cardinal in 1693.

At the Il Frantolio oil farm in Cisternino, visitors are welcomed by the owner Pietro D'Amico, who will offer tastings in beautiful 18th-century trulli. Here, you can taste fine quality extra virgin olive oil, known as “La Lacrima”, thanks to a milling procedure typical of the area.

The predominant crop of the area is the olive tree. It is a patrimony with an extreme landscape value and the monumental nature of the individual trees characterises the landscape of these districts. Almond groves, vineyards and, to a lesser extent, arable land alternate with the olive tree, almost always connected to large farms. For lunch, a stop at Masseria Montedoro is planned. This location dates back to 1807 and consists of trulli and an old building. Attached to the farm, there is the extremely interesting "Museum of Trullo Civilization". The Museum provides precious evidence of what the Messapian rural civilization produced in the past. Created inside an evocative trullo, it contains a complete collection of tools and products that this civilisation used for its agricultural economic activity.

For nature-loving tourists, we recommend a walk through the landscapes and settings of "The Torre Guaceto State Nature Reserve" near Carovigno. The park guides will accompany participants along the paths in the protected area to discover the ecosystems together. The agricultural part of the Reserve is occupied by arable land and centuries-old olive groves which give remarkable character to the agricultural landscape of the entire area. The historic olive groves occupy an area of260 hectares and fall within a homogeneous and well-defined area, corresponding to the last slopes of the Murgia hilly area. The centuries-old olive trees are of the Ogliarola Salentina variety. Afterwards, there will be a stop for refreshments at the Settimo Cielo restaurant, located in the town of Carovigno, set in the greenery of Apulia. The restaurant offers tourists a peaceful, serene environment, in a romantic atmosphere, where they can taste extra virgin olive oil and liqueurs made by the owner.

In San Vito dei Normanni, visitors will a chance to visit two important museums located in a Convent of Dominican Friars, the Olive Oil Museum and the Peasant Culture Museum with tools, objects and evidence of agricultural activity. Moving just 4 km further on, in the beautiful and enchanting Apulian countryside, the "Tenuta Deserto" farmhouse will welcome visitors in its 70 hectares of olive groves, pastures and oak and holm oak woods. The ground floor of the main house is supported by large stone star vaults and is the ideal place for meetings between guests, conversation and recreation. Visitors will be served tasty, typical local cuisine. Furthermore, the owner will allow guess to enter the cellar if they want to taste some selected wines of the Region.

Mesagne is well-known for its imposing castle and a splendid Underground Oil Mill, skilfully unearthed and turned into a wine cellar. We will find Primitivo di Manduria “Accademia dei Racemi” wine here, enhanced when complementing the best typical dishes of traditional cuisine, particularly first courses based on tomato sauces, second courses of exquisite local meats and almond sweets as a grand finale. A fascinating journey in the land of Primitivo wine with a video shown during the tastings. In the afternoon, a visit to the Cantina della Riforma Fondiaria (Land Reform Wine Cellar) located in the centre of the ancient Land of the Messapians, included in Wine Route no. 7. Here, tourists can admire the company shop where the winery's products are sold, including loose and bottled wines and virgin and extra virgin olive oils.

The Accademia dei Racemi, in Manduria, is a winery founded in 1992 when winemakers and wine experts joined together, united by a passion for high-quality winegrowing. Tasting the excellent Primitivo wine produced here will arouse very pleasant sensations, thanks to its lively ruby red colour, excellent aroma and delightful contact with the palate.

A The "Santa Barbara" Agricultural Cooperative wine cellars are located in San Pietro Vernotico, in the centre of a land where nature has provided a mild climate, favouring the unchallenged growth of vineyards rich in excellent quality grapes. In fact, some of the finest vines are grown in San Pietro Vernotico, from which "Brindisi D.O.C." and "Squinzano D.O.C.” are obtained. These wines, endowed with inimitable aromas and bouquets, are for true connoisseurs. The Cooperative’s pride and joy are the typical wines of Salento: the "White" and the "Rosé" are indeed top-quality wines produced using modern technologies. Furthermore, the jewel in the crown of these wineries is a wine produced in limited quantities, due to the special way in which it is made, as well as the long ageing in oak barrels: it is "Barbaglio", a red wine with the typical characteristics of the "Negro Amaro" and "Primitivo" blends of grapes. ".

SALICE SALENTINO Continuing to the northwest of the Salento peninsula, an area with an ancient winemaking tradition, we come to Salice Salentino, a small rural town that has been home to an ancient wine cellar for more than three centuries: the Leone de Castris. The imposing and austere building welcomes visitors, allowing them to gradually discover, like in a journey from ancient to modern, the antique paintings and furnishings and elements of historical evidence and the workshops and the modern tasting room. A varied range of products can be tasted in the Cellar: red, white, rosé DOC wines (Salice Salentino, Locorotondo, Copertino) and rosé and white sparkling wines, a brandy and a particularly high-quality olive oil.

In this picturesque Salento village, the types of wine produced are White, Raisin Wine and Late Harvest, Malvasia, Rosé, Red and also Reserve and Negro Amaro. The Conti Zecca winery, with its noteworthy Nero IGT Salento wine, is worth a visit, as is the Cantina Sociale s.r.l. wine cooperative. "La Vecchia Torre". This establishment was created in 1959 by about fifty members and has become the largest entity in the entire province. Tasting Chardonnay Salento, a wine to accompany appetisers and fish dishes, is a must.

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