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 his 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 the improvement of his wines. A team including agronomist Philip Giannone and enologist Andrea Boaretti has done invaluable work to promote Cacc'e Mmitte of Lucera, one of the oldest DOC’s of the south, it had all but disappeared and is now a rising star.
Paolo is modest about this work and has a simple ambition to make the very best wines possible. This commitment meant no wine was made at all in 1999. The search for the perfect yield has meant that each year production has dropped, quality is everything and quantity is irrelevant. Succumbing to the conviction and persuasion of his then 14-year-old daughter Giulia, his wines are also all verified vegan.

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 is on a south facing limestone slope with chalky topsoils and lies just below the farmhouse. The altitude of 300m collects the cooling sea breezes from the Gargano promontory, providing some relief to the vines from the scorching Puglian sunshine.