Puglia is the “”heel”” of Italy and the country’s third largest producing wine region. This region is hot and flat, but that is mitigated by constant sea breezes – especially from both sides of the southerly Salento peninsula – and long-established bush vines offer some resistance to drought. Primitivo is the most widely planted and well-known grape variety, but Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera are also widely planted. As important as it is as a wine producer, Puglia is perhaps more famous for growing olives — it produces more than 40% of the country’s olive oil. They also grow vast amounts of Durum wheat, which is made locally into orecchiette, a flat ear-shaped pasta. Another speciality is maccheroni al forno, pasta mixed with meatballs, hard-boiled eggs and various other other ingredients. topped with a pie crust and baked in the oven. Roast lamb, from sheep which graze on the rocky hills, pairs well with the region’s robust reds.