Puglia Italy

The Italian peninsula is shaped like a boot, so they say—and if true, it is a woman's boot, for Puglia is the high heel. Triangulated by Molise, Campania and Basilicata, the terrain consists mostly of broadly sprawling plains and low-lying hills. Famous since classical antiquity as an essential theater of the Second Punic War, activities there lead to the final drama where Hannibal got his comeuppance and the Roman general Scipio won his badge of honor "Africanus." Just a short cruise across the Adriatic from modern Albania, Puglia was settled by the Greeks in the eighth century BCE, and had developed grain- and olive-growing on a grand scale by the time they joined Italy in the early 19th century. Recently, their wines have moved beyond the village to achieve even international appeal. Sunny and warm, popular grape varieties include Primitivo, which is closely related to the Zinfandel of Sonoma and the Plavac Mali of Croatia, along with the Negroamaro (literally "black and bitter") and the Malvasia Nera.

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