Collection: Paolo Petrilli

Motta della Regina, Puglia

La Motticella has a long history as a coaching house, it had been allowed to run to ruin before Paolo and Paula arrived in 1997 to breathe new life into the house and land. Paolo is a perfectionist, a man of the land who set about restoring not just the buildings, but also reviving indigenous varieties for agriculture and altruism. Ancient varieties of Mediterranean oaks mature alongside the recovered local varieties of tomatoes which have made this farm famous. We sometimes have an allocation of his tomato products, but in truth the wines captivated us first.

For the past ten years Paolo has focused on his terroir and on the improvement of his wines. His team including agronomist, Philip Giannone, and enologist, Andrea Boaretti, have done invaluable work to promote Cacc'e Mmitte of Lucera, one of the oldest DOC wines of the south, which had all but disappeared and is now rising from obscurity.

He is modest about this work and has a simple ambition to make the very best wines possible. This commitment meant no wine at all was made in 1999 and 2014, the search for the perfect yield has meant that each year the production has dropped. Quality is everything and quantity is irrelevant. The farm has 11 hectares of organically farmed vineyard planted with local varieties: Uva di Troia, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Aglianico, and Bombino Bianco, there is not a single ‘international’ variety. The vineyard was planted between 1998 and 2001, it is on a south-facing limestone slope with chalky topsoils and lies directly below the farmhouse. The altitude of 300m collects the cooling sea breezes from the Gargano promontory, which provides some relief for the vines from the desert-like heat.