Copertino Is My Madeleine


When I took my first steps in the wine world, I fell in love with a cheap red wine that I found in a supermarket. It was the Copertino Riserva from the Cantina Sociale di Copertino, a cooperative cellar.

Copertino is a village in Apulia, in southern Italy. The wine is made with Negroamaro, a typical grape from that region.

Many years later I happened to learn the creator of that wine.

It was Severino Garofano, the winemaker behind some of the most important wines in the south of Italy. A genius.

I hadn’t drunk that wine for many years, maybe fifteen or more.

Last summer, I walked into a wine shop in Porto Cesareo, Apulia. On a shelf I noticed some bottles of Copertino by Azienda Monaci, Garofano’s winery. I immediately bought a bottle of it, vintage 2009, for just 7 euros.

Azienda Monaci has two of my favorite Italian wines: Le Braci, a red made with overripe grapes of Negroamaro, and Girofle, a gorgeous rosé. But I had never tasted the Copertino that Garofano makes for his own winery. My only Copertino had been the one he made for the Cantina Sociale.

The name of this Copertino is Eloquentia. Which is Latin, for eloquence. I think Garofano means that the wine speaks eloquently about the story of its territory.

Believe me, this wine tells the story. Ripe red fruits, warm spices, windy freshness and Mediterranean sun. Perfect. It’s Apulia.

Drinking this wine it was like picking up the thread of a dialogue, after more than fifteen years. Like meeting again a friend I had forgotten for a while.

It was my madeleine. Have you ever read Proust?

Welcome home, Copertino.