The Tuccanese grape has been on my mind for quite some time, and as you know by now I am a sucker for lesser-known and somewhat obscure grapes and wines.
When the topic in the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel group was decided to be about Sangiovese Wines Around Italy…I just knew I had to write about the Tuccanese.
However, it is not a very easy wine to find. There are only a couple of producers (as far as I have understood) in Orsara in the Dauni Mountains that produce this very unique wine.
I was actually in Orsara two years ago more or less but I never had the possibility to visit Leonardo Guidacci then, the Tuccanese vignaiolo that I will write about here.
What is funny is that, when I was in Orsara, I went to the D’Araprì 40th anniversary party at Villa Jamele of the chef Peppe Zullo. And, I just found out that Peppe Zullo is the other producer of Tuccanese wine. Nicola Campanile told me this when I asked if he could put me in contact with Leonardo Guidacci.
As I needed to get hold of the Tuccanese wine fairly quickly to write this article, I went for the easiest solution. It turns out that a small wine bar in Florence is selling this very special wine that is produced by Leonardo Guidacci in the Dauni mountains in Puglia.
This was just perfect, I thus took a short walk down towards the center and popped into the wine bar Sonora where I bought two bottles of Magliano Daunia IGP 2016.
When I now sit with this wine in my glass, I will tell you more about this a bit evasive grape variety…
June WITH #ITALIANFWT
The theme this month, June 2020, is Sangiovese Wines Around Italy in the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group. As mentioned above, I will be focusing on Leonardo Guidacci who produces Tuccanese wines in Orsara in Puglia. I will talk about his Magliano Daunia IGP 2016 in this article.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TWITTER CHAT
On Saturday, 6 June, at 11 am ET / 17.00 CEST the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel group will explore Sangiovese Wines Around Italy in the #ItalianFWT chat on Twitter. All those of you who are interested in wine, food, and travel regarding Sangiovese Wines Around Italy are very welcome to participate in the chat on Saturday. It is always great to have new fellow Italian wine and food enthusiasts to join and add new perspectives to the discussion.
Join us on Twitter on 6 June, by typing in the hashtag #ItalianFWT in the search field on Twitter and click Enter, thereafter, you click Latest which will show you all the live tweets. In that way, you can take part in the live discussion. After the chat, you can also head over to read and comment on the article writers’ blog posts. It’s always nice to get feedback on the articles.
Tuccanese – The Treasure Grape of Orsara in Puglia
There is not really that much written about the Tuccanese grape. After it was considered by some to be related to Perricone and by others to Piedirosso, it rather turned out that it is related to the Sangiovese. Attilio Scienza writes in his La stirpe del vino, that a DNA test has indeed shown that Tuccanese corresponds to the Sangiovese grape.
Sangiovese that is the grape with a big G in Tuscany and to a certain extent in Emilia-Romagna also has, as Attilio Scienza argues, turned out to have its origin in southern Italy. So far it is considered that Gaglioppo and Nerello Mascalese have similar cultivars to the Sangiovese. Read more about Sangiovese in my article A Unique Terroir in Modigliana – A Paradise for Sangiovese.)
In the article Il vitigno quasi sepolto in the magazine Bibenda, Manuela Mancino argues that it was the family Majorca-Strozzi that brought the Sangiovese to Orsara in Puglia. But she does not say in which century and she does not state any reference to the source of this information.
The Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura di Turi in Puglia as well as Leonardo Guidacci’s oenologist, Mauro Cappabianca, are working on doing further research into the Tuccanese grape. (See Un Sangiovese made in Puglia in la Repubblica.)
The Grape and the Winery with the same name – Tuccanese
Leonardo Guidacci calls his winery Vitivinicola Il Tuccanese, and the cellar is located right in the center of Orsara in Puglia. He does not have a website but I have found some articles about his winery where it says that his wine cellar in the center of Orsara has been dug out in the tuff 6 meters below ground.
This is where he ages his wines in oak barrels and then lay them down in the bottle until the wine settles. It must be a really beautiful cellar. It does say it is open for visits. So when the Covid-19 stress is over…I certainly will want to go there for a visit.
The 2-hectare Tuccanese vineyard plot is located on rocky soil at 500 meters altitude in the Dauni area. Furthermore, I read on his Facebook profile that he is now also organically certified.
Leonardo told me that the vineyards belonged to his family and that he decided to take over the management in 2000 after he finished his studies in architecture. His idea is to produce wine – a Tuccanese wine – that is a true expression of the Daunia territory.
The Magliano Daunia IGP Tuccanese wine…
The area around Orsara di Puglia is not only located in an area with a hilly and almost mountainous landscape but also, I believe, surrounded by forest.
When ‘putting’ the nose in the glass with the Magliano Daunia IGP 2016, I felt notes of forest, shrub herbs, moss, and other green notes… which made me feel like I was back in northern Puglia.
There are, of course, also notes of red fruit such as ripe cherry and plum, followed by spices. The vanilla comes out after a while, probably from the oak. The wine matures in oak for at least three months.
On the palate, it has good acidity, body, and well-balanced taste. The tannins are there but rather smooth.
Tuccanese is a wine I recommend you to try if you have the occasion, as it is a very interesting and particular wine.
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