Primitivo does well and is very productive in well-drained soils. The vine has more branches but fewer and smaller berries, and is less prone to brotytis and rot. These are generic growing characteristics of this varietal. Rootstock selection will impact the production, ripening and growth patterns of any varietal material.
Primitivo is full-bodied and has a more obvious fruitfulness than that of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a strongly spicy berry element.
Primitivo is one of the better-known names for Tribidrag, the oldest name for this variety. Known as Primitivo to the southern Italians, means "first to ripen" in Latin. Tribidrag comes from the Greek "early ripening".