There are two twin brothers of Primitivo, Zinfandel in California and Crljenak in the former Yugoslavia. The genetic analysis reveal an identical DNA.
The official history of the Primitive dates back to '700, when Don Filippo Indellicati, priest and farmer born in Gioia del Colle, separated a vine in a confused vineyard, where there were so many different grape-varieties, and put aside this plant that seemed at ease in the red soils of Gioia, naming it from the early ripening of its fruits. It seems that the Primitivo vines arrived to Manduria in 1881, with the trousseau of the young Countess Sabine from Altamura for her marriage with Tommaso Schiavoni Tafuri; it is assumed that this was a successful return of this grape-variety in its area of origin. Certainly in Manduria it found the ideal microclimate.