Puglia (Apulia to many English speakers) is a long, thin wine region in the far south-eastern corner of the 'boot' of Italy. To continue the footwear analogy often used to illustrate Italy’s shape, Puglia runs from the very point of the heel to just below mid-calf height, where the 'spur' of the Gargano Peninsula juts out into the Adriatic Sea. The heel (the Salento Peninsula) occupies the southern half of the region, and is of great significance to Puglia's identity. Not only are there cultural and geographical differences when compared to northern Puglia, but the wines are also different. Where the north is slightly hillier and more connected to the customs and winemaking practices of central Italy, the south is almost entirely flat and retains a strong connection with its Greco-Roman past.

The one factor which unites northern and southern Puglia is the choice of crops grown: olives and grapes, in that order. The region is responsible for almost half of Italy's total olive-oil production and has a long-held reputation as a prolific source of (mostly red) wine.

Vincenzo D' Antonio, noted Italian wine journalist was born in Naples in the past century. As a Neapolitan, his priority food was and still it is pizza.The first time he ate peppered mussels, he was 4 years old and therefore he began to sip wines and to discover, study and evaluate Italian wines, which became his most important task. Philosopher, journalist, food & wine writer, his aim is to enable the Italy lovers to discover the small hidden treasures of his country.

Follow Vincenzo and Robert as they discuss their journeys through Italy in search of food, wine and interesting characters. Vincenzo is the Italian Correspondent for WinelineTV.

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