The Abruzzo wine region is situated on the eastern Adriatic Coast of central Italy and is surrounded by the Italian wine regions of Marche, Lazio and Molise. The region is located a beautiful 2 hour drive east from Rome. Within Abruzzo we find one DOCG appellation (Montelpulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane) and four Abruzzo DOC appellations (Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, Controguerra and the white wine designation of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC).
Today, Abruzzo comprises over 89,000 acres of vineyards and the wine production reaches more than 92,000 gallons of wine each year. The majority of production is centered in the province of Chieti.
The terroir of Abruzzo in central Italy is characterized by a rugged and mountainous landscape with a long coastline. Here we find plenty of green areas with several forests and national parks. The vineyards are situated between the Adriatic Sea, the Apennine Mountains and the Maiella mountains. Here, the vines enjoy plenty of sunshine, with a warm and dry Mediterranean mesoclimate on the coast and a more continental climate inland.
The high altitudes lead to fantastic diurnals (variation between nighttime and daytime temperatures), which helps the grapes develop their signature acidity. Cool winds blowing down from the mountains moderate the temperature and save the grapes from harsh summer temperatures.
While a majority of Abruzzo vineyards are planted in hilly areas, the best vineyards are those planted in the northern province of Pescara and on Teramo’s low hills, on the Colline Teramane. These wines tend to fetch the best ratings and highest price at the wine tasting.
The flagship varieties of Abruzzo in Italy are the red Montelpulciano grape and the white Trebbiano grape. However, there are several other lesser-known local varieties, including Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola. The province of L’Aquila in the west also produces some exquisite rosé wines from the Montepulciano grape. These wines are known as Cerasuolo.
Abruzzo Montepulciano, not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Tuscany, tends to be quite powerful in profile. On the nose, this Italian wine reveals aromas of black cherry, plum and boysenberry, along with nuances of herbs like oregano and tobacco. On the palate Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine is medium-bodied with high tannins and high acidity. This red wine goes beautifully with savory and boldly flavored food pairings, like roasted meat, pasta Bolognese or beef brisket.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva wines, like those of the iconic producer Gianni Masciarelli must be aged for a minimum of 2 years, of which a minimum of 9 months in oak barrels. The Riserva Montepulciano d’Abruzzo of Italy offers a gorgeous silky texture on the palate and an earthier nose full of truffle aromas.
The flagship white wine of Abruzzo is produced from Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano Toscano (or simply Trebbiano) grapes. These Italian wines are straw-yellow in color. On the nose, they reveal floral fragrances and aromas of peach. The palate is characterized by a nice body, delicate minerality and a persistence of flavors on the finish. The Trebbiano d’Abruzzo of Italy pairs beautifully with fresh seafood dishes, like grilled fish, as well as a shellfish risotto.
To discover the wines of Abruzzo, like the Abruzzo Riserva Montepulciano, read more about Abruzzo wines and shop our selection below!