Basking in the balmy, Adriatic-cooled microlimate of the Salento peninsula in Puglia, on Italy’s heel, Agricole Vallone is a large, multi-tasking agricultural concern, with 170 hectares of vines interspersed with other crops, mostly olive trees, artichokes and vegetables. It was founded in 1934, but like others at the time, sold grapes to the local co-operative. It was only in the late 1990s that it began bottling its own wines, but it quickly made its name with its flagship wine, Graticciaia, a partially barrel-aged red made largely from negromaro grapes dried on mats (graticci) in the Autumn sunshine. Designated IGT Salento, this is a very special wine with powerful, concentrated flavours that ages beautifully. For more informal drinking, DOC Brindisi Rosso and its rosato equivalent from the Flaminio estate are hugely popular with members.