The definition “third autochthonous grape variety of Puglia” makes sense only if you consider the cultivated hectares, but Nero di Troia wine has legendary origins as well as being one of the most sophisticated apulian wines. It is a wine for experts, dedited to aging thanks to its natural content of polyphenols. A wine that looks right in your eyes, without blinking, that has no fear of comparison, never eager to please.
Nero di Troia is the strong point of Crifo wines from Cantina di Ruvo di Puglia, and it could not be otherwise as indigenous grape variety par excellence of its terroir: there are 8 labels of wine from Nero di Troia grapes between Crifo’s range of products.
Augustale Riserva DOCG 100% Nero di Troia, Squarcione Appassimento IGP single variety, Terre del Crifo IGP monovarietal and DOP blending, Grifone monovarietal IGP and DOP blending and the Bag in Tube 3 liters format, with two different packaging, “black” and “orange”, 100% Nero di Troia IGP. All of them are red wines although the vine lends itself to the vinification of excellent rose wines and goes as far as the vinification in white.
Nero di Troia grape, however, has not always been appreciated for its potential as a great grape variety, despite its rich history whose roots date back to 1200 BC.
In the past, this vine was mainly cultivated with the sapling vine training system, with very low production per unit of surface area; this aspect did not make it interesting for the wine production of that time, which preferred quantity rather than quality.
No wonder, therefore, if for a long time Nero di Troia grapes have been considered suitable for making blended wines rather than quality wines.
In addition, the late ripening and the need for special attention, because it is susceptible to the climatic conditions of late summer – early autumn, have certainly not facilitated the revenge between the important wines of Puglia.
From this sour grape variety, characteristic of central-northern Puglia, mainly in the territories of the province of Andria – Barletta – Trani and in Capitanata area, is made a soft and velvety wine, to which aging gives complex notes of spices, tobacco, licorice, ripe red fruits and jams, but equally willing to be drunk young with an easier floral and fruity bouquet.
After years of undervaluation, Nero di Troia variety re-experiences its fullness in the last 50 years, partly characterized by battles of merit to give it the right recognition. In 1970 it is recognized as a Black Grape Variety for wine but only in 2011 it gets the maximum recognition: the DOCG in the DENOMINATION CASTEL DEL MONTE NERO DI TROIA RISERVA.
Nowadays, thanks to research and wine experimentation, it is possible to make great typical wines, which are already valid in quality as young wines and natively more structured for a possible aging: this versatility has proved to be very important from a commercial point of view, in order to meet the taste of new consumers and place the vine among the most representative of Apulia.
For a long time Nero di Troia has been inserted in variable percentages in the disciplinary of 6 DOP: Castel del Monte, Rosso Barletta, Rosso Canosa, Rosso di Cerignola, Cacc’e mmitte di Lucera and Orta Nova, in the provinces of Bari, BAT and Foggia.
In these last years it is strongly preferred for the single variety vinification by virtue of the increasing appreciation by the consumers and a trend that rewards monovarietal wines made from native grapes, obtaining also great awards and the attention of the international press of the sector.