Producing wine with joy and enthusiasm
One of the most important wine producers in Brindisi, Tenute Rubino includes over 500 hectares of land and an impressive 200 hectares over four estates have been dedicated to viniculture.
A family company, Tenute Rubino was founded in the mid 1980s by Tommaso Rubino who believed wine in Salento could be a world-class product. Only a few decades later he has proven that he was correct by exporting 70% of wine production to over 20 countries around the world.
The four estates that belong to Tentute Rubino include Jaddico, Marmorelle, Uggìo and Punta Aquila each with their own properties and personality in upper Salento. The goal is not to create a uniform estate amongst the four but to celebrate the strengths and character of each location. So while the same grape may be planted, each estate produces wine reflective of that terroir. Visiting the vineyards it is possible to see women working, tending to the grapes and vines by hand, which is the tradition in Salento.
Harvest time is known as the Women’s Harvest to celebrate the manual labour invested to create a high quality wine and to continue the tradition in Brindisi. All of the wine is produced in one modern facility, respecting the tradition of Salento wines but also elevating its quality with each harvest through innovation.
Experience the finest winery in Brindisi
One of the things I was looking forward to experiencing the most in Brindisi was visiting a wine producer. Wine is such a strong reflection of the history, culture and land in a region.
We arrived at the Tenute Rubino production facility to tour the modern facility and learn about the family business that has had tremendous success marketing Salento wine to the world. I have toured many wineries and so the aspect I found most fascinating was the Susumaniello project.
Susumaniello is a grape variety that is native to Salento and was once as popular as Negroamaro and Malvasia but unfortunately over the years has been difficult to grow and has shown less and less yield. For this reason many wineries understandably switched to more efficient, higher yielding grape varieties. Tenute Rubino has committed to resurrecting the traditional grape variety as a passion project. We drove out to visit Jaddico, which one of four estates from Tenute Rubino and it is dedicated to reviving this near extinct grape variety.
It was also here that I learned about the traditional role of women in the grape harvest. At Tenute Rubino women are responsible for the picking, thinning, topping and leaf removal. It is tradition over generations that women would work in the vineyards while men would be responsible for the removal. Women in Brindisi are valued for their manual dexterity and precision, providing a higher quality wine. It was really great to see this tradition continue in modern days and was interesting to hear that it’s something outsiders can participate in as well during harvest days – they certainly tempted me to come back during harvest! Jaddico is only 8km North of Brindisi so after visiting the estate we drove back to Brindisi to visit one of the wine shops on the harbourfront, Numero Primo, for an aperitivo. We sampled the different wines of Tenute Rubino and I had much more appreciation knowing how much care was taken into creating this local wine.
Experience wine as a glamourous lifestyle
Wine is one of the great products that is made in the Brindisi region, and on the seafront near the port in the town, Numero Primo is an attractive vinoteca where you can enjoy a glass of the local produce and try some of the tasty snacks on offer. The promenade is a great place to relax and to look out over the water, and the quiet tables with their umbrellas offer a fine location whether you are enjoying lunch or fancy a glass of wine in the evening.
This vinoteca is a part of the Tenute Rubino winery, and a wide selection of the wines produced nearby can be enjoyed, with the philosophy here being to help make enjoying wine a pleasure. The wines range from the classics to the special editions that are made from the best vintages produced by the winery, and offer an enjoyable experience whether you are a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a glass from time to time. Along with the wines, there is a range of dishes on offer to help you enjoy the wine, and these make the most of the wonderful ingredients produced in the region, and the exceptional quality of the seafood that is caught on the Brindisi coast. From fresh salads to local cheeses and meats, the food here can be paired with great wines.