Alezio DOC is a red or pink (rosato) wine from Lecce province in the Salento peninsula in Puglia, the tip of Italy’s heel. The wine is made mainly from Negroamaro (80-100%) with an optional 0-20% Malvasia Nera di Lecce, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano. The wines can come from anywhere in the communes of Alezio and Sannicola, and from part of the communes of Gallipoli and Tuglie, all of which are in the province of Lecce. Vinification must be in the delimited zone but can also take place in the commune of Matino, one of the traditional centres of winemaking for what is now the Alezio DOC.
Viticulture: Maximum yields are 14 tonnes per hectare + 20% extra in favourable years. The use of irrigation to push yields is not allowed.
Terroir: The soils are calcareous, comprising layers of dolomite and dolomitic limestone deposited in the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras. The depressions were subsequently covered in stages by the sea, leaving tableland areas covered in tufo, clay and sand and the typical red sand or ‘alfisuoli’. Calcium carbonate is often absent due to decalcification caused by the previously mentioned red soils. Cation exchange capacity is medium-high. Fertility is low to moderate due to a lack of available nutrients, and organic matter in the sub-soil. Annual rainfall here ranges from 400 to 1,200mm annually.
Other crops: The area also produces autumn-winter cereal, forage, tobacco, potatoes, legumes, and olive trees as well as vines.
Alezio Rosato DOC: 12% minimum alcohol. Minimum extract of 18g/l. Minimal total acidity of 5.5g/l.
Alezio Rosso DOC: 12.0% minimum alcohol. Minimum extract of 18g/l. Minimal total acidity of 5.5g/l. Wines aged for 24 months before release (no oak ageing is needed) and with 12.5% minimum alcohol can be labelled as Riserva.
No certification: Cantina Coppola 1489.