The winery has 320 hectares of vineyards, all located in the most devoted areas of Salice Salentino, wich have a particular variety of soil and microclimate.
In order to better express these microareas, during the wine making process the grapes, coming from the best vineyards, are separated, obtaining a high quality wine. The grapes grow on calcareous-argillaceous soils that withstand arid and hot climate. Depending on irrigation water availability and wine typology to produce, we have different kinds of planting systems (alberello and espalier) and pruning techniques (short and long). Since its ancient origin, the traditioanl allberello planting system is preserved by the winery. This planting system, used in the Mediterranean regions, is characterized by moderate growth and few buds. For this reason the grape quality is clearly superior.
Cantina San Donaci only uses autochthonous grapes of its vineyards. In addition to the three traditional grape varieties (Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera) Malvasia Bianca, Chardonnay, Bombino and Trebbiano are also used.
Negroamaro is considered to be the most important vine variety due to its tannin content and pigments. Although this vine is from an unknown origin, it has been widespread throughout the Ionian area for many years. According to some, the name is derived from the dialect term niuru maru which defines the bitter taste of its wine. Negroamaros' abundant and consistent production prefers calcareous-clayey soil; suited for a warm and dry climate. The wine from these grapes consists of a bright red-garnet color, a well rounded flavor and a bitter and dry taste.
Primitivo is one of the most important typical vines of Salento. It has a high-quality production, but is inconsistent in the amounts produced. As a single variety, the vine produces a superior quality, produing a deep ruby red to purplish-red wine. Primitivo produces a high alcohol content and is warm, full, well-balanced and well structured.
Malvasia Nera is widespread in the Salento area and is now grown together with Negroamaro vines. Its grapes are mostly used in blends with Negroamaro; adding more body, the proper alcohol content and sapidity. The fine table wine contains characteristics of a deep ruby red color and a pleasant bouquet along with a well-balanced and mellow taste.