Our Grape Varieties.
Contrary to its name, it is hard to find such a “gentle” variety: its wines are full-bodied and rich, elegant and complex. The etymology of the word Negroamaro is uncertain, but the most acknowledged is a Latin-Greek contamination which emphasizes the colour of the grape skin and pulp (from Latin niger and Greek mavros, which came into the local dialect as “niuru maru”)
The origin of this variety is unknown but it was probably introduced to the Ionic area by the Greeks. Its production is steady and high yielding, it adapts to different types of soil – although it prefers chalky- clayey soil – and to hot, dry climates and different training systems.
This variety owes its name to its precocity in the growth cycle and harvesting period. It is considered a high-quality variety.
Almost certainly it originated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was subsequently exported to California. Recent DNA studies have shown it is related to Zinfandel (or Crjenak Kastelianski)
This variety also belongs to the local tradition.
It is a native variety probably of Dalmatian origin, famous for its remarkable aroma, it owes its name to its high yield, with the vines becoming as loaded as “donkeys”.
It was first planted at Li Veli in 2000, with 2009 being the first vintage of a varietal Susumaniello.
Black Malvasia grapes belong to the family of vines whose name, “Malvasia”, comes from a contraction of Monembasia, a Byzantine fortress nestled on the rocks of the promontory south of the Peloponnese, where sweet white wines were produced, later shipped by the Venetians all over Europe with the name of Monemvasia. The wine produced with this variety became so popular that taverns were opened in Venice dedicated to its consumption, the so-called Malvase.
In Apulia, Malvasia Nera is traditionally present in the provinces of Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi. Its aroma is not very intense but enough to classify it as an aromatic Malvasia. It is mostly used for blending in Negroamaro.
Fiano Minutolo is a white grape variety typical of central Apulia grown mainly in the area of the valley of Itria, where it finds the ideal soil and climate. This variety is characterized by a small berry, from which it takes the name “Minutolo”, an intense aroma and a fresh and sapid taste with notes of bergamot, peach and chamomile. At the end of the nineteenth century this grape was also called “Latina Bianca”, proof of its ancient origin.
This white variety has been cultivated for a long time exclusively in certain areas of Apulia, particularly in the valley of Itria. Owing to its great resistance to disease and adaptability to different soils and conditions, for many years Verdeca was hardly ever vinified on its own but used mainly for blending with other wines or for producing Vermouth.
Masseria Li Veli started making varietal Verdeca in 2009 with the intent of launching this historic local variety.
This ancient variety was introduced in Italy by the Greeks and probably owes its name to the month of July (in Greek: ioluatico ), when it ripens. Owing to the particular climatic conditions of Salento this grape, if dried according to specific techniques, produces complex and concentrated wines with a good structure.