Primitivo, meaning ‘early one’, is the Italian name for zinfandel, a grape originally from Croatia. This black-skinned varietal is known for producing still red wines with high alcohol levels, bold flavours, significant tannins and an impenetrable garnet hue.
You’ll like primitivo wine if you like Californian zinfandel, warm-climate Australian shiraz, or Italian dolcetto, barbera and sangiovese.
Primitivo is a thick-skinned grape that produces wines with high alcohol, high tannins and bold flavours.
However, primitivo traces its origins to nearby Croatia (where it was known as ‘tribidrag’) and was likely imported in the 18th century by local priests. It was a popular blending grape during its early years, and today it’s used for simple, easy drinking wines sold under the Puglia name.
In 1994, DNA testing proved that primitivo and zinfandel were one and the same. This fact, coupled with the global popularity of zinfandel, largely driven by the Californian market, led to increased demand for primitivo varietal wines. This growing popularity is one of the reasons we can buy it in Australia today.
Primitivo pairs well with aged cheeses like parmesan, pecorino and cheddar.
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