Gregory Perrucci, the owner and operator of Felline, is much more than a winemaker. Most importantly, he has made a name for himself internationally through his research organization Accademia dei Racemi. They were the first to champion the Primitivo grape in the Puglia region, previously only used to produce cheap bulk wine, and the first to commit serious effort to studying the many facets of the area’s different soils. The project began as a collection of five vineyards participating in Puglia's original experiment in soil analysis. Lead by Gregory, this innovative group of wineries and wines has shaped the culture of Southern Italian wine and is pushing the limits of varietally correct expressions of their diverse grape varieties. They focus only on older, native grapes, mostly unknown and underrated on the market: Negramaro, Ottavianello, Malvasia Nera, Sussumaniello, Primitivo. The most important results were achieved on the Malvasia Nera, and, recently, Verdeca and Vermentino. The estate is also proud to have a new event space in Manduria—“Spacio Primitivo”—that historically housed the “wine factory” of Costantino Perrucci, one of the most famous wine entrepreneurs of Puglia in the 1970s and 80s. The space will serve as an exciting extension of Felline and the goals of the Accademia dei Racemi at which to host tastings and grander events.
Gregory Perrucci is the funniest man I've met in Italy. Always ready with a joke, his is also always willing to invest his time and energy in promoting Puglia. He is the reason for the DOC of Manduria and the first person to pioneer Primitivo for quality wines in Puglia; examining soil expressions of the grape (i.e. terroir) and supporting the DNA study with UC Davis on Zinfandel and Primitivo.