Abruzzo is an unspoiled gem with its mountains, rolling hills, and endless coastlines. It is an Italian wine region located in the mountainous central Italian region along the Adriatic Sea. Abruzzo’s rugged terrain is mountainous, thus isolating it from the rest of Italy’s wine-producing regions. Despite the geographic barrier, Abruzzo has a long history of winemaking.
Abruzzo has grown over the past few decades with a new generation of producers focusing on showcasing the promise of their terroir and the indigenous grapes to the region. Out of this incredibly beautiful region, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines that they create are deep and complex and are Italian superstars in the making that are still incredibly affordable.
These modern styles of Montepulciano are inky and black fruit-driven with a chocolatey, tobacco finish, a perfect pairing for rich, savory meats with lots of heft behind them. Additionally, it adds a savory herbaceousness to the meal making it work with mashed potatoes, savory cheeses, and charcuterie, or even a cheeseburger. For a vegetarian twist, these big, but still acidic wines can partner with roasted winter vegetables, mushrooms, and black beans.
Climate & Terroir
Abruzzo sets itself apart from other wine regions of Italy with its climate, soils, and geography. Abruzzo has the Apennines Mountain along its western border with Corno Grande being the highest point in all of Italy. The mountains act as a natural barrier from the inclement weather from the west. To the east is the Adriatic Sea which provides a Mediterranean climate for the region. With warm days followed by cool nights, Abruzzo has the perfect Mediterranean climate for grape growing.
The vineyards are made of calcareous clay. In the northern region of Abruzzo, the microclimates, soils, and altitude are similar to other central Italian wine regions in Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche. The warmer, flatter, more humid, and fertile vineyard sites in the south have microclimates more similar to the southern Italian wine regions.
The region is highly regarded for growing Montepulciano(grape variety – no relationship to the village). Montepulciano is the 5th most widely planted grape of Italy and is the principal grape behind the DOC wine Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It is a red grape that is dark in color and tannic. It has good acidity and a nice fruit profile.
Trebbiano Abruzzo is the youthful native white grape variety of Abruzzo. It is light and fresh with citrus and tropical notes and a lovely minerality. Coccociolo is another white variety that is local and native to Abruzzo.
Two Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Wines To Try Now
Cantina Valle Tritana Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2018
Cantina Valle Tritana aims to select and market products both of quality and favorable price, and it starts with the Montepulciano wine from the Abruzzo region in Italy. The name chosen for the winery was not a coincidence, the Tritana Valley is located right in the heart of the Abruzzo region, at the center of a singular territory for the particular characteristics of piedmont soils, for the presence in the foothills of the Gran Sasso Mountains.
Cantina Valle Tritana has a ruby red hue. The aromas are intense with notes of dark fruit such as currants and blackberries with subtle hints of chocolate and mint. Excellent structure with sweet tannins. This intense wine is apt for a wide variety of meals. It is a great pairing with traditional Abruzzo dishes, haggis, meat sauces, red and white meat courses, pizza, and mature cheeses.
Fattoria Giuseppe Savini Rondineto Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2018
Fattoria Giuseppe Savini was founded in 1949 by Vincenzo Savini and passed to his son, Giuseppe. Today, the property belongs to Giuseppe’s sons Giovanni, Michele, Simone, and Sigismondo, who personally oversees operations at the farm and winery. Innovating their family’s approach to farming and viticulture, a new, fourth generation of the Savini family is leveraging technology and sustainability to shape the future of their land and legacy.
The color of the wine is ruby red with slight purple hues. Pleasantly scented with hints of red fruit (blackberry, red currant) and violet; the taste is full, soft, and harmonious, with velvety tannins and good persistence. This classic native varietal elegantly expresses Abruzzo’s terroir. Versatile on the table, this wine can be enjoyed now or aged for up to 3 years in the cellar. Pairs well with meat sauces, grilled lamb, and intense cheeses.