Bella Modella Primitivo: Wine of the Week

Bella Modella Primitivo emerges from the vibrant landscapes of Puglia, Italy, commanding attention with its profound flavour profile and quintessential Primitivo character. This Italian wine stands apart, blending tradition with a modern winemaking approach that aims to offer a premium experience at an approachable price point, whether through its esteemed red wines or its meticulously crafted Prosecco. Bella Modella encapsulates the essence of Puglia's rich viticultural heritage while promising affordability without compromising on quality. With each sip, connoisseurs are invited to explore the depth and intensity that Bella Modella Primitivo and its contemporary methods bring to the table.

Delving into the realm of Bella Modella offers an exploration of Italian wine history, innovative production techniques, and the sensory journey of its Primitivo. This article will guide enthusiasts through the vineyard's history, the unique approach Bella Modella adopts in crafting these distinguished wines, and the symphony of tasting notes that define its character. Additionally, it will cover essential food pairing tips, serving suggestions, and advice on where to find Bella Modella Primitivo for those looking to enrich their wine collection with a piece of Italian excellence.

History and Origin of Primitivo

The journey of Primitivo, synonymous with Zinfandel, begins in the fertile soils of Apulia, Italy, where it has been nurtured for centuries. This grape variety, integral to the identity of Bella Modella and Italian wine culture, boasts a history as rich and complex as its flavour profile.

  • Origins and Historical Milestones:

    1. Discovery and Cultivation: Primitivo was first isolated in the mid-18th century by Don Francesco Filippo Indelicati in Apulia's Gioia del Colle, marking the beginning of its cultivation in Italy.
    2. First Vineyard: The inaugural Primitivo vineyard took root in the Terzi area, Li Ponti district, with a commemorative plaque celebrating this landmark event.
    3. Ampelographic Recognition: By 1875, Primitivo had gained acknowledgment in the first studies conducted by the Ampelographic Commission in Apulia, showcasing its early ripening and refined quality as noted by Giuseppe Perilli in 1874.
  • Scientific and International Connections:

    1. Link to Zinfandel: The connection between Primitivo and California's Zinfandel was established through extensive isozyme and DNA analysis, confirming their similarity and tracing Zinfandel's journey to California around 1850.
    2. Debates on Origin: The early 1900s saw ampelographers speculate about Primitivo's origins, with theories ranging from a degeneration of a Pinot variety to similarities with Piedmont's Dolcetto, though these were later disproven.
  • Cultivation and Characteristics:

    1. Soil and Climate: The vineyard's medium-textured, deep, tufaceous soil on a limestone substrate, combined with mild winters and hot, dry summers, creates an ideal environment for Primitivo grapes.
    2. Wine Profile: Primitivo grapes are known for producing intense, dark ruby red wines characterized by a spicy and fruity nose, warm, soft, tannic qualities, and high alcohol content, making Primitivo del Salento a choice for connoisseurs.
    3. Geographical Spread: While primarily grown in Gioia del Colle, Primitivo's presence extends throughout Apulia under the IGT appellation, except for Manduria, where it is celebrated as the only DOC wine.

This exploration into the history and origin of Primitivo not only highlights its deep-rooted presence in Italian viticulture but also underscores the sophisticated and meticulous approach Bella Modella employs in nurturing this distinguished grape variety.

The Bella Modella Approach

At the heart of Bella Modella's winemaking philosophy lies a contemporary approach that marries tradition with innovation, ensuring each bottle of wine, from the crisp Pinot Grigio to the vivacious Prosecco Spumante DOC, encapsulates the essence of modern Italian winemaking. This approach is meticulously crafted around several key practices:

  • Harvesting and Fermentation:

    • Grapes are manually harvested, emphasizing the importance of human touch and precision in selecting the best fruits.
    • The winemaking process includes soft pressing and fermentation with maceration for 8-10 days, followed by ageing in steel tanks for a minimum of 6 months before bottling. This technique ensures the preservation of the wine's fruitiness and freshness, making it a hallmark of Bella Modella's style.
    • For Bella Modella Pinot Grigio and Prosecco, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. This method is pivotal in maintaining the wine's maximum fruit character and freshness.
  • Quality Control and Vineyard Management:

    • Individual vine-growers contribute their grapes to the wineries, with all identification data of the production areas recorded on personal cards. This system allows for meticulous tracking and quality control from vine to bottle.
    • An agronomist verifies the maturation of the grapes and establishes the timing for vintage, ensuring that only the best grapes make it into the winemaking process. Upon arrival at the winery, grapes are selected by type, area of origin, and sugar content—key factors in determining the wine's quality potential.
  • Vegan-Friendly Practices:

    • In a nod to sustainability and inclusivity, Bella Modella offers vegan wine options, made without the use of animal-derived fining agents. This practice not only caters to a broader audience but also aligns with modern consumer preferences towards ethical and environmentally friendly products.
    • Vegan wines are identified by the term 'Unfined/Unfiltered' on the bottle, ensuring transparency and ease of selection for consumers looking for vegan options.

Bella Modella's approach to winemaking is a testament to their commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability. By combining traditional techniques with modern practices, they ensure that each bottle of Bella Modella wine is a reflection of the rich Italian winemaking heritage, tailored to meet the tastes of contemporary wine enthusiasts.

Tasting Notes and Characteristics

Diving into the sensory journey of Bella Modella Primitivo reveals a symphony of flavours and aromas that encapsulate the essence of Puglia's terroir. The meticulous crafting of this wine results in a profile that is both complex and inviting, appealing to a wide range of palates.

  • Visual Appeal:

    • Colour: A captivating very intense ruby red with garnet reflections, inviting the eye with its deep and vibrant hue.
  • Aromatic Profile:

    • Nose: A rich tapestry of aromas unfolds, featuring intense hints of violet, black currant, and plum jam, beautifully complemented by light spicy notes. This aromatic complexity adds layers of depth, making each sniff as intriguing as the last.
  • Flavour Characteristics:

    • Palate: The Bella Modella Primitivo greets the palate with a full and rounded taste, where sweet tannins lay the foundation for a rich intensity of flavour. Notes of fruit compote emerge, weaving through the wine's structure and providing a lush, satisfying finish. The balance between the fruit-driven and savoury elements showcases the wine's versatility and sophistication.
    • Food Pairing: Excelling in versatility, this Primitivo is a perfect companion for main courses based on red meats, roast game, or tasty cheeses, enhancing the dining experience with its rich and rounded profile.

The Bella Modella Primitivo stands as a model of perfectly formed wine, embodying the rich viticultural heritage of Puglia. Its intense ruby red colour, combined with a vibrant fruity aroma and a smooth, ripe palate, makes it a standout choice for those seeking a wine that offers both complexity and enjoyment. The commitment to quality and the vegan-friendly approach further cement Bella Modella's place as a wine that not only pleases the senses but also aligns with modern, ethical consumer preferences.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Bella Modella Primitivo, a full and rounded red wine from IGT Puglia, Italy, 2021, is a versatile choice for a variety of culinary experiences. Its suitability for main courses, based on its rich intensity of flavour, makes it a perfect companion for several dishes. Here are some recommended food pairing suggestions to enhance your dining experience with Bella Modella Primitivo:

  • Red Meats and Roasts:

    1. Roast Beef: The wine's sweet tannins and rich flavour profile complement the savoury taste of roast beef, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.
    2. Lamb Chops: Bella Modella Primitivo's hints of fruit compote accentuate the natural flavours of grilled or roasted lamb chops.
  • Game and Tasty Cheeses:

    1. Venison: The intense ruby red wine pairs well with game such as venison, enhancing the meat's rich flavours without overpowering them.
    2. Mature Cheeses: Pairing the wine with mature cheeses highlights its smooth and round palate, offering a delightful taste experience.
  • Specialty Dishes:

    1. Tomato-Based Pasta Dishes: The wine's ability to complement spiciness without overwhelming makes it an excellent choice for tomato-based pasta dishes, adding a rich layer of flavour.
    2. Grilled Meats: Bella Modella Primitivo showcases its rich intensity when paired with grilled meats, elevating the meal with its full-bodied taste.

These pairing recommendations aim to provide a comprehensive guide to enjoying Bella Modella Primitivo to its fullest, ensuring every sip and bite is a journey through the rich culinary and viticultural heritage of Puglia, Italy. Whether it's a hearty roast, a gamey venison, a flavourful pasta dish, or a selection of mature cheeses, Bella Modella Primitivo is ready to elevate the dining experience with its exquisite taste and versatile pairing options.

How to Serve Bella Modella Primitivo

For enthusiasts eager to indulge in the rich flavours of Bella Modella Primitivo, here's a our guidelines on how to serve it for an optimal tasting experience:

  • Optimal Serving Temperature: To fully appreciate the nuanced flavours and aromatic profile, serve Bella Modella Primitivo slightly below room temperature, around 16-18°C (60-64°F).
  • Decanting: While not always necessary, decanting for about an hour before serving can enhance the wine's character, allowing its complex aromas and flavours to unfold.
  • Glassware: Opt for a medium to large-sized wine glass with a broad bowl. This shape allows ample room for swirling, which oxygenates the wine, further releasing its vibrant bouquet of aromas.

By adhering to these guidelines, enthusiasts can ensure they're serving it in a manner that maximizes its exquisite taste and aroma, making every sip a testament to the rich viticultural heritage of Puglia, Italy.


Through this comprehensive exploration of Bella Modella Primitivo, we have journeyed from the history-laden vineyards of Puglia to the innovative approaches that encapsulate the brand's dedication to quality, tradition, and modernity. This article has provided a detailed account of Primitivo's rich background, Bella Modella's unique winemaking philosophy, and the sensory delights that characterize their wines. Each aspect, from the visually striking ruby red hues and layered aromatic profiles to the intricate flavours and food pairing recommendations, exemplifies the excellence and versatility Bella Modella offers to wine enthusiasts.

The Bella Modella Primitivo stands as a testament to the rich viticultural heritage of Italy, embodying a perfect synergy between traditional practices and contemporary tastes. It's a wine that encapsulates the essence of Puglia's terroir, crafted for those who appreciate the depth and complexity of Italian wines. If you want to try this for yourself, you can buy it here. In savouring Bella Modella Primitivo, one not only enjoys a glass of wine but also partakes in a storied tradition of winemaking that continues to charm and adapt in the face of modernity.


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