img_7325“The Tormaresca project began with the dream, now a reality, to discover and enhance the precious native varietals of Puglia, leading the wine renaissance of the region.” Credit: Tormaresca Website

When we saw a building in the distance, we cheered.  We had been driving for hours across Italy from Rome and in the last half hour we had seen very few signs and only one indicator of our goal: Tormaresca winery, in the Castel del Monte DOC in the southeastern tip of Italy known as Puglia.

I would put Tormaresca up there with Tasca D’Almerita’s Regaleali in central Sicily as one of the most remote and hidden wineries to find (and that was also worth the trip).  We parked in what we later found out was the back of the winery, and searched for five minutes to find the entrance.

Wines of Tormaresca
Wines of Tormaresca

Tormaresca is owned by the centuries old Cantinetta Antinori in Tuscany, Italy which has been in business since 1385.  Antinori bought this property in 1998 to add to its stable of properties and to add new varietals to its arsenal.  In 2009 Antinori added Masseria Maìme in Salento to the Tormaresca family.  We decided to visit the original Bocca di Lupo estate in Minervino Murge for a tasting.

There are certain wines from Tormaresca that are reknowned throughout Italy.  Among these are Tormaresca’s Masseria Maìme 2012, a pure Negroamaro awarded Tre Bicchiere by Gambero Rosso, Fichimori, a flavorful Negroamaro meant to be served cold, and Tormaresca’s Aglianico 2010 which garnered a 93+ from the Wine Advocate.  We tasted each of them.

Our degustazione had some real standouts: the 2015 Calafuria rose made from 100% Negroamaro which I loved because it had a slight salinity which is so prevalent in Salento rosatos, a gorgeous peach-pink color, and peachy aromatics.  Finally, the Masseria Maìme was the star of the show with its rich, dark cherry and anise aromatics and smooth, elegant finish.   img_7326