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Francesco Candido

In 1929 the entrepreneurial Francesco Candido reclaimed over 250 hectares of marshland in the Salento region of Puglia in Southern Italy and turned it into a vineyard. He built a winery in San Donaci to make wine which at first was sold in bulk. However 1957 he began to bottle them under the Candido name, one of the first companies in the region to bottle their own wines, and so paved the way for the recognition of Puglian wines, and the acknowledgment that this land in the heel of Italy could produce quality wines. The company remains family owned, and has been run since 1978 by Francesco's son Alessandro Candido. It is now an international business producing over a million bottles a year, 60% of which are sold abroad. Alessandro continued the innovative spirit of his father. In 1997 he launched the first Salento 100% Negroamaro, the fabulous Cappello di Prete; this is the only wine from Puglia mentioned in Neil Becketts famous book “1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die”. 140 hectares are under vine to mainly indigenous grape varieties, featuring Negroamaro, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera, Aleatico, Susumaniello and Fiano, but some Montepulciano, Syrah, and Chardonnay are also grown. Candido seamlessly blend tradition with modern technologies to craft a portfolio of innovative wines. Puglia has the longest coastline in the Italian peninsula, bordered by the Ionian and Adriatic seas which bring a constant breeze to the sunny Mediterranean climate. Rainfall is low, the fertile soils are medium-textured clayey-calcareous, and there is marked diurnal variation. All this culminates in the perfect conditions for the cultivation of grapes, producing wines with intense aromas and flavours, rich in concentration. Candido's wines are opulent and fruit-driven, filled with the sunshine of Puglia, and represent unbeatable value for money!