Hisotelaray, Libera Terra

Salento, Apulia, Italy

Apulia, Italy Libera Terra came into being March 1995, with the intention to fight organized crime in the region; this is a coop of growers, using property seized by government from the regional mafia and putting it to better cultural use. This wine was made from vines that were confiscated from the mafia and returned to local growers in an effort to further aid the local economy. Libera Terra Puglia is vine-growing and winemaking activity of the Cooperativa Sociale Terre di Puglia. Libera Terra works lands seized from the criminal organizations of Puglia with the aim of creating educational opportunities, inspired by the principles of solidarity and lawfulness. With utmost dedication and painstaking effort, Terre di Puglia is restoring the value of lands seized in the province of Brindisi, in the cities of Mesagne, Torchiarolo and San Pietro Vernotico -a surface of twenty hectares of land and thirty hectares of vineyards. The main goal of this project is the revalorization of the region’s native grape varieties, especially Negroamaro. The plants from old rows to the traditional free standing systems are pruned; yields are limited to achieve quality. The Cooperative is a member of the Libera Terra Mediterraneo Consortium, which was established to put renewed perspective on challenged regions, starting from the social reinstatement and obtaining high quality produce, respecting the environment and personal dignity. The application of organic growing techniques to all the crops and respect for native varieties result in high quality and genuine produce, always distributed with the Libera Terra brand. The cultivation of lands allocated to the cooperative is inspired by the historical growing techniques typical of Salento. In addition, the cooperative offers a range of classical products, recently complemented with the “recovered” fiaschetto tomato, an old variety at risk of extinction, in cooperation with the Slow Food foundation for Biodiversity.

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