60% Primitivo, 40% Susumaniello, from vines averaging 15 year old. The vineyards have a small elevation of 100 meters above sea level, with north-south exposure and calcareous clay soil. Susumaniello is a little-known red-wine grape found in Puglia, and thought to be an offspring of Sangiovese. Its name is derived from somarello, meaning “donkey”: just like the hard-working donkeys, this high-yielding variety is capable of bearing heavy loads. To control the yields, Pietra does a “green” harvest at the beginning of veraison. The grapes are harvested during the second half of August. Pre-fermentation maceration at 8°C (46 F) for about 6 hours, then temperature-controlled fermentation at 14°C (57 F) for 20 days. Notes of raspberry, orange blossom, white flowers. 12.5% alcohol. 2500 cases produced.
About the Producer
Founded in 2002 by Gaëtano Marangelli and his brother Vito, Pietra (Menhir Salento) is in Minervino di Lecce, a medieval village situated in the eastern part of the Salento peninsula, not far from the sunny beaches of Otranto. Enologist Vincenzo Laera oversees the 45 hectares of vines, some of which are alberello-trained. They grow on shallow red soils with layers of calcareous rock. Only indigenous varieties are planted: Verdeca, Minutolo, Malvasia, Primitivo, Susumaniello, Negroamaro (7 ha), Aleatico. The vineyards are usually dry-farmed - irrigation is only provided in exceptionally dry vintages, and cover crops are used to provide nitrogen to the soil.
At the heart of the estate is a 17th century baronial palace that houses Origano Osteria, the celebrated family restaurant, opened in 2012. The property also contains a Mediterranean garden, which hosts live concerts and outdoor dinners during the warmer months, along with ancient underground olive presses and an organic farm. Adjacent to the vineyards, Miriam Daniele, Gaëtano's wife and brand ambassador for Menhir Salento, has curated gardens of local flowers to preserve biodiversity and create little oasis of peace and poetry.
Farming practices: certified organic since 2019.
Focaccia con pomodori e origano - Recipe from Origano Cibo e Vino