The town of Leverano, from which the wine takes its name, is situated in the southern part of the Salento to the southwest of Lecce.
The red and rosé versions of Leverano are made from Negro Amaro grapes-at least 50 per cent: over 85 per cent the wine can be labeled Negro Amaro. Negro Amaro is clearly the best variety for the making of the rosé wines of the Salento. It is often vinified in mixtures with small percentages of Malvasia Nera, which softens the winer. The wine obtained from the two varieties features a range of tones between ruby red and garnet and a flavor with an appealingly bitterish vein.
The remaining 50 per cent is obtained from grapes of the Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Malvasia Nera di Lecce varieties.
Sangiovese originated in Tuscany, probably in the Chianti area where it is widely diffused. It is a rather rustic variety that is quite vigorous. Its production is constant and abundant and it is grown fairly extensively in Apulia.
Montepulciano was introduced in Apulia in the early years of the 20th century, first in the province of Foggia and then in more limited fashion in those of Brindisi and Lecce.
The Leverano Bianco is made from Malvasia Bianca grape with small percentages of Bombino Bianco and Trebbiano Toscano.
Malvasia Bianca is also known as Malvasia Lunga because of the shape of its cluster, which is elongated and pyramidal. It usually has two wings and small, spherical grapes of a greenish color that becomes golden straw yellow when the fruit is fully ripe.