Primitivo is also known as Zinfandel, and was regarded as California's own grape for a century ... until it was discovered that it was the same as the ancient Italian variety.
Both Italy and the United States employ the grape in their own way to produce full-bodied and fruity wines. Primitivo flourishes in sun-soaked Puglia, the 'heel' of Italy's 'boot.'
The grape ripens early and has a high sugar content - meaning that many examples have a slight sweetness to them. It is this sweetness that makes the wines extremely versatile and popular, and it also means that the wines can have a very high alcohol content - some as high as 17%!
Dark, purple color with intense plum and chocolate flavors.
Wines to Try
Pillastro, Duca Petraccone, Il Papavero
Puglia, Salice Salentino, Squinzano
Crljenak Kaštelanski, Gioia Del Colle, Locale, Morellone, Taranto, Zinfandel
- The off-dry blush wine, White Zinfandel, is also made using this grape.
- Though at its most abundant in Italy and the US, tests revealed that the grape itself is of Croatian origin.
- If you enjoy a glass of Primitivo, you may also love full-bodied Australian reds - try Andrew McPherson's The Full Fifteen or The Black Stump Durif/Shiraz.