Flat as a billiard table and sun-scorched throughout the long summer, Puglia is as close as Italy gets to California’s Central Valley or to Australia’s Riverina. If you’re a grape grower, the living is easy. Rain falls obediently during the winter months, there is an abundance of ancient, unirrigated vineyards, and land values are a tenth of what they are in the industrial north.
In the Valle d’Itria (where you find the trulli) it’s marginally less flat and much higher than in the Salentine Peninsula (about 350 metres here). It’s the same iron-rich terrarossa soil from further south but this time it’s over almost pure limestone which gives a weird mix from which both reds and whites can be fashioned. The native Pugliese whites include the trio of Verdeca, Bianco d’Allesano and Minutolo whilst the reds see the ubiquitous Primitivo give ground to the extravagant Susumaniello.