Grape varieties from Southern Italy are making a big impact in Australia. Wines made from Greco di Tufo and Bianco d'Alessano have won trophies at Wine Shows in Australia recently, and look out for Nero d'Avola.
In October 2010 I had the privilege of attending Silvestro Silvestori's cooking school in Puglia Italy. In 2011 he held a wine school "Terronia"
to share his knowledge about the grape varieties and wines of Southern Italy.
This course is a great opportunity for Australian winemakers, sommeliers, restauranteurs,
wine marketers, writers and winelovers to experience these wines in their native format.
For an impression of what Southern Italy has to offer see the video below.
In 2014 the Terronia wine schools will be held in Puglia
These courses will include wines from Puglia, Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily
Silvestro is also organising a Wine Tour of Sicily from 1 to 7.
Why you should attend
There are two venues used for these courses. One is a restored castello on top of a newly-excavated, centuries old olive oil pressing facility. There are wonderful rooms for tasting and dining and a large teaching kitchen. The castello is surrounded by extensive private gardens. The other venue is in Casa Silvestro in the centre of the beautiful city of Lecce.
The class will deal with wines from dozens of varieties from Italy's rich south where the industry is rapidly modernising with an emphasis on indigenous varieties.
Some of the varieties you will be trying include negroamaro, aglianico, primitivo, cinsault and nero d’avola which you may have heard of but there will also be bianco d'Alessano,
verdeca, susumaniello, ciro, falanghina, bombino bianco, grillo and many others which you will know less about.
Visits to wineries and from winemakers will increase the value of the course. Several meals will be prepared communally to help you fully appreciate the context of the wines.
Silvestro is knowledgeable and passionate about his region, its food, wines and culture. He is a qualified sommelier and runs a very successful cooking school. He has excellent language skills to ensure that nothing is "lost in translation".
In this video Silvestro explains his philosophy and approach to his cooking school.