Vittoria and Maria Teresa, the most important female wine producers of the Salento area of Apulia, represent a unique case: viticulture, for them, is not only an activity to which they are passionately dedicated but above all a moral commitment which they assumed in order to carry out the project begun by their brother Franco, who died prematurely in 1979 at the age of 39. A modern spirit, open-minded, lucidly intelligent, Franco had guided the interests of his family, owners since 1934 of fertile land in the Salento peninsula, towards a professional, entrepreneurial style of agriculture. This in a period, after the shock of Italy’s post-war land reform, in which few landed proprietors were willing to bet on the future of their holdings. Thanks to his work, the Vallone family was among the first in Apulia to eliminate the classic rapport of landed proprietor and sharecropper and to begin to operate, with salaried labor, as agricultural entrepreneurs, directing their family estates on their own: Agricola Vallone is his creation. It is divided into three self-sufficient units, each with a certain autonomy, but all guided, in terms of strategy and general direction, by Donato Lazzari and headquartered in Lecce. The overall property consists of approximately 1650 acres: 100 acres are the family vineyard of Iore in San Pancrazio Salentino; another 775 acres (275 of which are vineyards) are in the Flaminio estate at Brindisi; and the remaining 780 acres are the Castelserranova holdings in the area of Carovigno. Total vineyard land amounts to 425 acres, with cellars for fermentation at Brindisi and another cellar for aging and bottling at Copertino. At the death of Franco Vallone his sisters felt the moral obligation to realize his dream: to cerate an avant-garde wine-producing estate in the Salento peninsula: they have succeeded, thanks to the excellent choice of staff, coordinated by the director, agronomist Donato Lazzari, Franco Vallone‘s right-hand man. On his advice, the Vallone sisters decided, courageously, to bottle only the best of their production (the rest is sold in bulk), staking their bets on the highest possible quality. The potential of their vineyards is, in theory, at least 1.4 million bottles. The actual production is only 620,000. The finest wine is Gratticciaia, one of Apulia’s top wines: a Negroamaro made from grapes dried on straw mats to obtain further concentration and richness. The name derives from the Gratticciaia drying rooms, where the grapes are laid out on woven straw and reed mats to slowly and gradually to dry and lose a part of their liquid content. The resulting wine is potent and ample, but suave and elegant at the same time.