The Leone de Castris winery is based in Salice Salentino and is an intrinsic part of the history of wine-making in the Southern Italian region of Puglia. The estate was founded in 1665 by Duke Oronzo, Earl of Lemos. After being enchanted by the landscape of Puglia he decided to sell all his properties in Spain, and dedicated himself to making great wine from the rich terroir of Salento. He began by planting new vines, olive trees and wheat on the 5,000 hectares of property which spanned Salice, Guagnano, Veglie, Villa Baldassarri, Novoli and San Pancrazio. “Five Roses”, the now famous rosé made by Leone de Castris, was first produced in 1943, and was the first rosato to be bottled in Italy.
Its name comes from a “contrada”, belonging to the family, so called, because for several generations each de Castris had five children. During the 1960s, the direction of the company was in the hands of Cavaliere del Lavoro Salvatore Leone de Castris, and thanks to his efforts the winery developed both locally and internationally.
The philosophy of continuous improvement is now driven on by his son, Piernicola Leone de Castris, who has been Managing Director since the late 1990s. Leone de Castris have always been pioneers in spreading the richness of Salento’s viticulture all over the world. They have 350 years of history looking towards the future.