The Petrilli estate is located in northern Puglia, in the region of Daunia, near the town of Lucera. La Motticella or Motta della Regina is a centuries old settlement, reported on maps even before 1000 B.C. It was originally a stopover on the road between Lucera, in the inland area, and Lesina, outpost of Venice on the Adriatic sea. It later became a feud belonging to the Caropresa family, the Zunica, and the Serra di Cassano. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Paolo Petrilli, grandfather of the current Paolo Petrilli, bought it using his wife Teresa’s dowry, and it was united with the neighbouring family estates: Feudo, Bisciglieto, Sequestro and De Iulio.
Paolo and Paola Petrilli have lived there their whole lives and have gained an enormous reputation growing some of the finest organic pomodori (tomatoes) in all of Italy, from heirloom varieties. Their crop, from just 5 hectares of tomato plants, sells out every year to Michelin-starred restaurants. Paolo applies the same philosophy to his wines: better to limit production and make the best possible product. In 2002, the family released the first wines from the 11 hectares of vines they planted in 1998. Paolo flatly states that his production will always be limited to whatever he is able to vinify from that 11 ha. A quiet, funny, sophisticated farmer and academic (his beautiful home is overflowing with books on every conceivable subject), Paolo’s wines are so impossibly elegant, they almost dance on the palate.
Only local varieties are planted: Nero di Troia is the main one with 6 ha, then Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Aglianico, Bombino and Verdellino. The vineyards are located on the estate hill, around the building, in an area of very stony, calcareous soil; they have a southern exposure and are always covered with spontaneous vegetation. The location is extremely windy, which makes for healthy grapes. The vineyard density has five thousand plants per hectare, and the grape yield never exceeds 13,230 pounds.
Farming/vinification/sustainability practices: The entire property has been certified organic by the ICEA since 2008. The grapes are hand harvested and only indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation. The wine is aged in wooden vats. The winery is run on 100% renewable energy.