Masseria Li Veli, "Askos" Verdeca 2020

Verdeca|Puglia, Italy

A rare, bracing white wine from one of Puglia's most vaunted estates, Masseria Li Veli!

Verdeca (vehr-DECK-ah) is the grape; it's one of Italy's lesser-known but prized varieties that you rarely see outside of its native Puglia. Fermented beginning to end in stainless steel, stylistically this resembles the vibrant, floral notes of Sauvignon Blanc with flinty, volcanic chalk notes and lip-smacking acidity and pungency. 

Masseria Li Veli is a historic farm and winery in the village of Salento, in Puglia – the limestone fossil-studded southern "heel" of Italy's boot. Their site boasts over two millennia of Greek, Roman and Italian history – it's been continuously inhabited since at least the third century B.C.!. This is part of their "Askos" series, paying homage to the area's Greek roots and ancient-world varieties.

While some producers are experimenting with non-native varieties, Masseria Li Veli focuses on Puglia's native varietals, evocative of the sunny, dry landscape strewn with vines, olives, and wild scrub, relentlessly buffeted by oceanic winds. One glance at the Ionian Sea lapping against the Pugliese coastline shows why this area has been treasured for centuries. The mild winters and hot, dry summers make for an ideal grape-growing climate. Each sip of this wine propels me back to this awe-inspiring coast, its sun, its bounty of seafood. Enjoy!

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