To clarify right at the beginning: Primitivo does not derive from "primitive" but from "prima" which means "early", since this high-quality red wine vine has a rather early harvest time. It has the same roots as the Californian Zinfandel, they probably descend from the Croatian Crljenak. Some Italian winemakers also use the name Zinfandel for their label.
Primitivo is the star of the red grape varieties of Apulia. Their incredible upswing began in the late 1990s, when these wines conquered the Central European market with their opulent and fruity character. Stylistically, the wines are mostly in the semi-dry range, which gives them an emphatically round taste profile and thus increases the attractiveness for many newcomers to wine, who tend to reject acidity and tannins. The Primitivo produces smooth wines that impress with their full-bodied taste. The Primitivo di Puglia is an IGT wine with mostly very good value for money, the Primitivo di Salento is more concentrated and intense, and the Primitivo is of even higher quality di Manduria, which has DOC status.
In California, the Zinfandel is mostly responsible for the strongest and most alcoholic red wines. In addition, large quantities of slightly sweet rosé wine are made from it, which is marketed under the name "White Zinfandel".