A Mano

Puglia
www.amanowine.com

Background

Producing wines of quality, Mark Shannon and his partner Elvezia Sbalchiero have succeeded in making Primitivo one of Italy's most talked about grape varieties. By paying high prices for the best grapes (sourced from 70 to 100 year old vines) and focussing solely on quality and a modern style, they have revolutionised the style and quality of Primitivo.

Part of the reason for the continued success of A Mano is the knowledge that Mark and Elvezia have after 18 vintages (the first was as a consultant for another company) in the region. Not only are they getting access to Salento's best grapes, but also their growers have come to realise that if they want the higher price paid by A Mano, they need to provide even better grapes than in previous years. The quality of the grapes shines through in the resulting wines.

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Inspiration

My inspirational person

Louis Martini. When I was in graduate school this famous old time Napa winemaker gave a seminar on blending. He brought three dry sherry base wines for us to taste. They were not very agreeable as individual wines. When he blended them they transformed from three ugly ducklings into a gorgeous swan. I promised myself that I would learn how to blend that day. It taught me to memorize flavours and how they go together from the grapes in the vineyard to the wines. Mark Shannon.