Cantele is now in its third generation of winemaking and bottling under the Cantele family name. Gianni Cantele began his work in the wine trade following WW II, brokering bulk wines from Puglia to “beef up” underripe wines made in the northern part of Italy. Gianni and his wife, Teresa, visited and fell in love with the Salento area and relocated their family from Northern Italy. Gianni, along with the help of his two sons, Domenico and Augusto, began their own family winery, Cantele, in 1979.
Today, the Cantele family makes some of the most compelling wines in all of Italy, garnering Tre Bicchieri (3 glasses) awards for wines that retail under $20. Most popular in our Virginia sales are the native varietals and blends: Negroamaro, Primitivo and Salice Salentino Riserva.
The family owns 50 hectares of vineyards and manages another 150, and the winery produces 2 million bottles each year.
We had the fortune to visit the estate and meet with one of Gianni’s grandsons, Paolo, who is now head of brand sales and marketing. Paolo and his sbilings and cousins operate Cantele today. We are so happy to represent the Cantele family, who are as warm and welcoming as the Puglian climate, and who make real wine at such a high quality level and at such reasonable prices.