Our first-ever foray into the heel of the Italian boot might not be what you expect. It certainly wasn’t what I expected! On a trip there last July, I discovered a terroir perfectly suited to producing dry, aromatic white wines of character and freshness. Puglia is the likely birthplace of Italian wine (and, as follows, French wine!), with the vine originally traveling here via Greek settlers who crossed the Adriatic channel. Today it is the second-largest producer of wine out of Italy’s twenty regions. Most of it is red. I Pàstini is a small, family-run winery in the Valle d’Itria in eastern central Puglia. Gianni Carparelli and his father, Donato, founded I Pàstini so that they could bottle their own production from land used by their forebears to grow wine grapes for sale. Their organically grown grapes thrive on a limestone plateau co-planted to ancient (multi-millennia-old!) olive groves overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Located roughly in between the coastal towns of Brindisi and Bari, the Valle d’Itria is made up of a dozen or so small, agrarian towns distinguished by their trulli, conically shaped stone structures that historically served to house people, store grain and other foodstuff, and shelter livestock. The Carparellis produce a beautiful range of white wines, including the Faraone, which is made from the local Verdeca grape (which is genetically similar to Verdicchio in Le Marche). This stimulating dry white is a wonderfully versatile table wine that is crisp, floral, herbaceous, and cleansing. A perfect introduction to I Pàstini’s style, it is the type of white you might like to consume often and plentifully.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa