Wines have been made in Apulia for over three thousand years, but rational production and criteria of serious quality arrived there only recently, and then only partially, so that, compared to other regions, the gap between fluids for mass consumption and others for discriminating palates was always very wide. If we judge the more ambitious labels from a lofty height of connoisseurship, disappointment will be our lot because weeurod find few really excellent ones, but if weeuroll look from a less exalted plane and show understanding for the current contradictions and material difficulties that beset Apulian producerseuro efforts at reform, we can warmly greet their many approaches to reducing the quality gap and to perfecting those local grape stocks that until recently have generally met with more derision than appreciation from connoisseurs. Their enterprises are spread widely throughout the region, from the centre-north and labels like the Murge and the Castel del Monte DOC southward to others like the Salento, and are strong in the re-evaluation of europrimitiveeuro negroamaro grapes. Nowadays one can readily find any number of reds that combine typical local traits with pleasurable drinking at competitive prices . . . so, grateful for pleasures large and little, we cheerfully recommend a goodly number of such new labels in our list of very good buys.