Natalino del Prete, Il Pioniere - Salice Salentino Rosso


The Pioniere is fantastic: 70-80+ old vines of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, a mix or old and archaic clones of these varieties that are currently being classified by the best researches in Italy, never more than 3g SO2 added, with about 10 of total, ridiculously low yields, down to 25HL per hectare... a total bargain for the quality and the story behind. Super structured but super light to drink, full of sweet spices and charm.

Natalino Del Prete is a traditional grower of Southern Puglia. His wines, made in the simplest way possible, are full of rustic character and serve as a perfect example of unpretentious peasant wine meant for everyday consumption.

Vines have been in the Del Prete family for generations, but Natalino was the first to focus exclusively on viticulture. Working with 10 hectares of vines, the indigenous Primitivo and Negroamaro consist of the majority of his production, but a small amount of Malvasia Nera and Aleatico are grown as well. The viticulture is more about restraint than anything else: no fertilizers, minimal plowing, no irrigation and no chemicals (Natalino has been certified organic since 1994).

This philosophy extends to the cellar, where the wines ferment and age in large concrete tanks. Very few if any rackings occur, and no sulfur is ever added to the juices.