In the official classification of Italian DOC wines, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo is up there with Chianti Classico, Asti, Oltrepò Pavese, Soave and Valpolicella. It has recently become the third most popular wine in Italy; it used be sixth when we started this website in 2000. As a first indication, we believe that around 65% of the Abruzzo wines production is sold across Italy, while 25% remains in the region. The final 10% is exported. What is for sure is the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo represents 80% of all the DOC wines in Abruzzo.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine
Like many wines from Abruzzo, such as Trebbiano, you have to be careful as the quality varies tremendously from one producer to the next. The best are really good, some truly terrible even if it says its the same thing on the bottle. Some say the brand has benefited from confusion with Nobile di Montepulciano, but nevertheless, a steady annual increase in production over the last 15 years is no fluke. By way of the progress made, take a look at the video above, which clearly communicates the wine and the region as one.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is made almost exclusively with grapes from vines of the same name, with the possible small addition of other grapes from recommended and/or authorized red grape vines. The top of the range has a brilliant ruby red color and a dry, mellow, pungent, slightly tannic taste. It is a robust wine that ages well. Originally, cultivated in the Peligna Valley only about 300 years ago, the grape has now extended its roots all the way to the coast.
The Consortium for the Protection of Wines of Abruzzo (see link below) recommends drinking it either young, 6 months, or up to 18 months after it has matured in oak barrels. Believe us, there is big difference between the two. In fact, there are two sub-denominations called 'Terre dei Vestini' and 'Terre di Casauria'.
For all the information you need about Montepulciano d'Abruzzo head to Ortona, the home of the regional wine center of Abruzzo or 'Enoteca Regionale d'Abruzzo'. The center is open from 10am till 1pm then again in the evenings except Mondays.
Do seek out Montepulciano d'Abruzzo bearing the "Colline Teramane" mark which is made in the hilly land and the high plains in the province of Teramo using at least 90% Montepulciano grapes and a maximum of 10% Sangiovese grapes. It has a unique, strong heavenly bouquet and a taste that is dry, full, and robust but at the same time harmonious and velvety.
Alternatively, if you would like to visit one of the cantinas or Azienda Agricola who produce the wine we have a list of contacts for over 30 producers in the province of Chieti, from the Azienda Agricola Agriverde in Caldari to the Vinicola Giandomenico in Villamagna.