twelve o’clock, 30 March 2021 – 15:35

Journey into the products of the Capricci di Latte company, a success story. And the «Messapia 2020» by Leone de Castris, a simple but not banal white wine

of Vincenzo Rizzi and Pasquale Porcelli

Food (edited by Vincenzo Rizzi)

L’dairy art has it in its DNA. It is no coincidence that Giovanni Leone was weaned with the milk of mozzarella, and as a child he wandered among the gentle hills that surround the village of Noci, probably fascinated by the magic of the landscape, but also interested in observing animal husbandry techniques. He was interested in following the work of his father, Giuseppe Leone, owner of a farm located two kilometers from the town, and is very much in the breeding sector (mainly cattle with a small percentage of sheep and goats). However, without neglecting the organic cultivation of grazing lands and dry fodder, to ensure the excellent quality of animal feed. An excellent quality that naturally turns into excellent native milk, for the benefit of the entire business, and for the benefit of the mozzarella that Giovanni’s mother, Mrs. Ada Trisolini, prepared for friends and relatives for festive lunches. It was an exclusively family consumption, and at the time there were no commercial projects, but it served to mark Giovanni’s professional destiny. After a long training in different dairies here and there in Puglia, he is ready to carry out the job of master dairyman, until he decides to open his own laboratory with a sales point in 2017 in Polignano, to get to the sea, every day at the first morning lights, the milk that is produced in the hills. We are talking about the Capricci di Latte dairy, which can boast a wide horizon of admirers, even in the field of catering and well beyond regional borders. Enough to allow itself to double over two years. The second Capricci di Latte is therefore born in Monopoli, for which Maristella Leone is responsible, a store that also has a delicatessen, bakery and gastronomy department. However, the flagship remains the artisan processing of cheeses and dairy products, made with natural ingredients and absolutely traceability: from burrata to fior di latte, from caciocavallo to pecorino, from mozzarella to goat cheese. And among the many specialties, the queen’s crown belongs to her majesty the braid, which is the magnificent result of a slow and complex production process, starting from the mozzarella itself and ending in its characteristic shape, precisely intertwined. Going through the application of a traditional method, the so-called whey graft, which allows to obtain the right acidity without resorting to the inclusion of citric acid or enzymes.

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The Whims of Milk. And the Verdeca of de Castris
The wine (edited by Pasquale Porcelli)

NI don’t know if Verdeca, as indicated by some, is the most cultivated white wine grape in Puglia; some doubts are legitimate looking at other grapes such as Bombino and Trebbiano. In any case, it is one of the vines that in recent years is having a wide diffusion even outside its traditional borders, which have always been geographically represented by the Itria Valley and in particular by the Lorocotondo and Martina Franca vineyards. Lowering of yields in the vineyard, modern extraction procedures in the cellar, aimed at enhancing and enhancing the varietal characteristics, now allow us to have a wider aromatic variation, not forgetting that it is still a grape of moderate complexity. Having said that, however, Verdeca lends itself very well to being a happy accompaniment to delicate dishes that enhance its ease of drinking, making it pleasant and appreciable. The demand from the market for white wines has led in the past to focus the productions on international vines, today the search for a more territorial characterization pushes the rediscovery of native vines including Verdeca, which expands its territories of expression extending over the whole the region, in particular in Salento. It is therefore not surprising that a historic winery like that of Leone de Castris puts in its basket a jaunty Verdeca 2020 all vinified in steel and that it does it justice by presenting it as a wine destined for a pleasant and disengaged drinkability. Brilliant straw yellow color that suggests delicate fruitiness made of citrus tones, hints of tropical fruit with a slightly floral background of hawthorn. The taste is harmonious, well balanced in its fresh-acid vein with hints of flavor. Simple, but not trivial, capable of being an aperitif or accompanying delicate seafood preparations.

March 30, 2021 | 15:35

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