Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Italian name for what is known by English speakers as Apulia, the long (350 km/210 mile) and fertile region on the ‘heel’ of Italy (see map under italy) which has long been of major importance for the production of wine and table grapes. A mediterranean climate and a predominance of soils well suited to grape-growing (a calcareous base from the Cretaceous era overlain by topsoils rich in iron oxide from the Tertiary and Quaternary eras) have created an ideal viticultural environment. Its name derives from the Roman a-pluvia or ‘lack of rain’. Total vineyard area in 2012 was 107,000 ha/250,000 acres, of which a decreasing 60,000 ha is dedicated to basic table wine, and 24,000 ha to growing table grapes. Puglia rivals Sicily as Italy’s second most productive wine region, well behind Veneto. Many growers have taken subsidies from the eu to grub up their vineyards but, unfortunately, many of these were of low-yielding bush vines, while many remaining vines tend to be high-cropping inferior varieties planted on fertile soils.