Excitement has become growing across the wines of Italy for several years. The successes of Piedmont and Tuscany are very documented. Umbria (Orvieto and Sagrantino di Montefalco) is rising steadily and Sicily has succeeded in penetrating its previous good reputation for producing great quantities of wine although not offering quality wines bottled by Sicilian producers. Now Puglia, the heel and lower calf of the Italian boot, seems to be rounding the corner. A recent vacation to Puglia, sometimes called Apulia, with an much more recent wine event in San Francisco highlighted the advances being made in quality and marketing of those complex and interesting Puglian wines.
The caciocavallo is a number of cheese made exclusively in the milk with the Podolica cows, using a traditional recipe simply during times of the year. This Basilicata-bred cattle reside in a habitat other breeds of cows find challenging to survive because pastureland is scarce plus it rains hardly ever. The Podolica, which live in a semi-wild state inside the Mediterranean, eat highly aromatic herbs including fennel, licorice and myrtle, the strong fragrances ones go into their milk. These environmental characteristics get a new product and earn it extraordinarily flavorful along with a distinctive complex taste. The caciocavallo cheese is produced throughout every season, nevertheless its production peak is from March to May. The minimum aging takes ninety days, however the caciocavallo requires long curing times, sometimes using to twelve years. All the seasoning is performed by hanging the molds, tied in pairs with a rope in the shape of a horse (cavallo) ' a custom that gave the name with the cheese. This cheese comes from a special technique called "spun paste" which was developed on the centuries in Basilicata to ensure long life-span and durability to cow's milk cheeses. The curds obtained by heating and coagulation from the milk undergo an extra heating, until they become pretty elastic. Mozzarella, scamorza, provolone not to mention the caciocavalli cheeses are all obtained by this method. The Caciocavallo is really a cheese that leads to prolonged curing. Especially the large pieces are perfectly preserved even though 4 to 5 years of aging. The cheese is better alone after a meal so that you can savor it's flavor nuances, possibly joined by a glass of good desert wine or chestnut honey.
This imposing castle is probably the most impressive buildings you will note in the whole region. You can reach it from Bari with ease, which is a well known attraction for any person staying in hotels in Puglia. The building was built inside the 13th century, by Frederick II from Swabia. While it is very tall, its real purpose isn't really known since it is not fortified - but nevertheless, prepare to get impressed.
The region is fantastic for a whole lot of aimless wandering - it is possible to just just embark in one point and invite (for instance) the labyrinthine, whitewashed streets of Locorotondo and Ostuni sketch out of the day's itinerary. You could also enjoy the distinctive elegance of towns across the coast, such as Gallipoli and Otranto. But, in fact, everywhere you go you will find something to become dazzled by: from balconies with red and pink geraniums, to street market stalls that overflow with freshly picked cherry tomatoes, peaches, or whatever fruit is season.
That this surge has involved an enormous progress in quality, is one thing renowned wine critics already made available to sanction. But behind this result there's also the mark of an uncommon entrepreneurial drive, where producers and politicians virtuously joined together. Just consider the investment because of this American (plus Canadian and Swiss) tour of Puglia wines: '1,561,952.50 euros, that possibly 30% through the producers, 50% from the Ministry as well as the remaining 20% with the Puglia Region,' according to Wines of Italy's website.