|Comune di Copertino|
Location of Copertino in Italy
|Coordinates: 40°16′N 18°03′E / 40.267°N 18.050°ECoordinates: 40°16′N 18°03′E / 40.267°N 18.050°E|
|Province / Metropolitan city||Lecce (LE)|
|• Mayor||Sandrina Schito|
|• Total||57.76 km2 (22.30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||34 m (112 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2004)|
|• Density||470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Joseph of Cupertino|
|Saint day||September 18|
Following Charles of Anjou's successful campaign in 1266, the Hohenstaufen tower of Copertino was held first by the de Pratis family and then by Walter VI of Brienne, Duke of Athens, Count of Lecce and Grand Constable of France.
Copertino became the centre of a County under the Enghiens, who were sovereigns of the land of Galatone, Leverano and Veglie. With the marriage of Mary of Enghien, Countess of Lecce and Copertino (later Queen of Naples and titular Queen of Sicily, Jerusalem, and Hungary), with Raimondo del Balzo Orsini, the county became part of the principality of Taranto. The French knight Tristan Chiaromonte (de Clermont-Lodeve) led the development of the county capital, having assumed power over the territory on his marriage to Caterina, daughter of Mary of Enghien. Tristan's daughter Isabella of Clermont, heiress to the Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, married Ferdinand I of Naples. With the conquest of the Salento peninsula by the Aragonese dynasty, effected jointly by the Spanish army and knights from Albania, the county was gifted in 1498 to Alfonso Castriota Scanderbeg, in gratitude for military support.
The Princes of Belmonte gained the Castle through the Squarciafico Counts of Copertino, to whom the fief passed from 1557.
The area around Copertino is permitted to make red and rose Italian DOC wine. The grapes are limited to a harvest of 14 tonnes/ha with the finished wines needing a minimum of 12% alcohol. The wines are predominantly Negroamaro with no more than a 30% blend component of Malvasia, Montepulciano and Sangiovese (which is further limited to a maximum of 15%). Wines labeled Riserva must be aged for a minimum of 2 years prior to release and have a minimum alcohol level of 12.5%.
- The Castle, one of the most massive fortifications in Apulia.