The Bauxite quarries and the elegant historic center, Otranto is one of the most important seafaring cities in Puglia. Its ancient village has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010 as a Messenger of Peace Site. Pearl of Salento and destination of exceptional cultural and naturalistic riches, it ranks as the Gateway to the East and the epicenter of the culture of peace in the Mediterranean.
Tenuta Corallo, a wine resort immersed in the vineyard overlooking the sea, overlooks the splendid beach of the Baia dei Turchi. The love for the latter and the passion for the world of wine move Enzo and Gabriella Marti, entrepreneurs for over 25 years in the Salento tourism sector, to take over the estate of almost 13 hectares along the Adriatic coast that connects the Alimini Lakes in Otranto.
Gabriella tells us about her wonderful vineyard and the modern wine cellar of Tenuta Corallo located in a unique and typical landscape and architectural context of Salento.
How was the Tenuta Corallo wine project born?
“The Tenuta Corallo wine project stems from a mixture of passion for wine, the land, tourism and the territory in the broadest sense. Together with my husband, Enzo Marti, we have been working in the tourism field for a few decades. Years ago we bought a piece of land on the beautiful Baia dei Turchi, cultivated with vines up to a century earlier. We wanted to revive the ancient indigenous vines by indulging our passion for wine “.
Are your wines affected by the proximity of the sea?
“The part of the vineyard closest to the sea is just 30 meters from the beach. In all wines, especially white and rosé, there is a clear flavor that gives freshness and aromas. In fact, even the Mediterranean scrub that separates the vineyard from the sea gives the aromas to all wines. Even simply by licking the leaves of the vine, you can recognize the distinct salty taste which is then destined to be found in the wine “.
Is the history and art linked to Otranto and Baia dei Turchi also visible inside your wines?
“I first remembered the passion for the territory as well as for the wines. We have chosen to tell on the back label of our reds the infamous landing of the Ottomans in 1480 on the well-known beach of Baia dei Turchi. The Ottomans brought destruction and death by fixing the name of Otranto and its martyrs in history ”.
Are there any wines you dedicate to Otranto?
“Our first wine is a 100% primitive red and bears in the name a dedication to the territory of Otranto, which hosts Tenuta Corallo. Orterosse is the name of the wine and is a tribute to a beautiful beach known as Orte ”.
How is your cellar structured?
“The cellar is newly built and is spread over two levels: ground floor and basement floor. The ground floor houses a small showroom, a laboratory, as well as a room of about 180 square meters where the steel tanks and two large wooden vats of 40 hectoliters each are located. On the rear external terrace there is a rotating tank of 100 quintals used for the fermentation of the red wine. In the basement there is a barrel room of about 100 square meters for the aging of the wine in wood kept at an adequate temperature and humidity. On the terrace in front of the cellar, there is a large table equipped with seats where we welcome guests who come to visit the estate and taste our wines “
How would you describe your wines?
“We can define our wines as identity as they are produced from native vines. We maintain the traditions also in the color: for example our Rosato Matria, which is a 100% negroamaro, confirms a custom of our land that wants the rosé particularly full of color “.
How can wine art and local art come together?
“Wine art and local art come together to tell a story of Otranto made up of art, of steep and narrow alleys, of history and martyrs, vineyards and sea. Everything is intertwined giving the viewer a photo of himself as if it were a family photo ”.