In Abruzzo, vines flourish thanks to the terroir, the abundance of sunshine, the generous rainfall and a variable climate. It’s not surprising that it provides a perfect haven for grape-growing. Abruzzo is home to one DOCG – Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane – and three DOC wine designations. The red and Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, and the white wine appellation Trebbiano d'Abruzzo are the most notable, followed by the lesser-known Controguerra.
The star grape varieties of the area are the native red Montepulciano and white Trebbiano. Supporting roles are played by a few international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and natives such as Sangiovese, Passerina, Pecorino and Cococciola. The usual maturation process for Abruzzo wine is in oak. However, the Montepulciano Cerasuolo is aged in stainless steel.
The wines produced in this region evoke, in their nuances and sincere character, the salient traits of the inhabitants of this land, a reality where the oenological experience is renewed day after day in tradition, yet always attentive to innovation and consumer tastes. To protect and enhance the wines of the region, the Consortium for the protection of wines of Abruzzo was established in 2002.
The Abruzzo wines with a denomination of controlled origin (DOC) are the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC, the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC, the Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC, the Abruzzo DOC and the Villamagna DOC. In addition, the Consortium also protects wines with a typical geographical indication (IGT): Colline Pescara IGT, Colline Teatine IGT, Colline Frentane IGT, Colli del Sangro IGT, Del Vastese or Histonium IGT, Terre di Chieti IGT and Terre Aquila or Terre de L’Aquila IGT.
Here are some of the most representative denominations in Abruzzo:
Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC
The Montepulciano D’Abruzzo itself represents over 80% of the total denomination wines produced in Abruzzo and is among the top three DOC wines produced in Italy. It is easy to recognize: an inviting deep ruby red colour, the unmistakable scent of red fruits, flowers and spices, the dry, soft, and balanced tannic taste, make the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo unique. Numerous historical documents show that the Montepulciano grape variety has been present in the region since the middle of the ‘700, and found in this territory its place of choice. In the past, the culture of Montepulciano took place in the valley of Peligna, in the province of L’Aquila, and in the internal hills of the province of Pescara. Starting in the ’50 of the last century, the culture spread to the entire hilly coastal zone and today constitutes the main red grape of Abruzzo.
The Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC is obtained only from vines located on hilly land or plateau, whose altitude must not exceed 500 meters A.S.L. and exceptionally at 600 meters for those with southern exposure. The Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is obtained almost exclusively from the grapes of the homonymous vine, with eventually a small addition (maximum 15%) of other grapes from red varieties suitable for cultivation in the Abruzzo territory.
Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC
The Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo is obtained from the Montepulciano grapes, using a special winemaking technique, which limits the period of fermentation in the presence of the skins to just a few hours or through a vinification process “in white”. It is an ancient method, still widespread in Abruzzo, which over the years has undergone a constant technical evolution while still remaining strongly linked to tradition. Its extraordinary freshness combined with the elegance of its scents makes the Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo a particularly pleasant and fascinating wine. Its scent is pleasant, delicately vinous, fruity, fine and intense; the taste is dry, soft, harmonious and delicate, with an almond aftertaste.
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC
The existence of the Trebbiano grape in Abruzzo was already noted in the sixteenth century, when Andrea Bacci, in his work “De Naturali vinorum historia”, signals the presence in the Fucino and in the Peligna area of a wine obtained from Trebulanum grapes. Today the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC is obtained from the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and/or Trebbiano Toscano grape varieties, in conjunction with other white grape varieties suitable for cultivation in the territory of the Abruzzo region, alone or jointly up to a maximum of 15%. With a straw-yellow colour, it is remembered for its pleasant bouquet of flowers and fruit, its freshness, with a dry and harmonious taste. The grapes destined for the production of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC are obtained only from vines located on hilly or plateau land, whose altitude is not more than 500 meters A.S.L. and exceptionally at 600 meters for those with southern exposure.
Colline Pescaresi IGT
The production area of the grapes to obtain the musts and wines to be designated with the typical geographical indication “Colline Pescara” includes the hilly areas of the entire administrative territory of the province of Pescara, in the Abruzzo region. The typical geographical indication ”Colline Pescara” is reserved for white wines, even in the sparkling and passito typologies; the red wines, also in the sparkling, passito and novello typologies; the rosé, also in the sparkling and novello typologies. They can include, alone or jointly, with the production of the above-mentioned wines, the grapes of the corresponding, non-aromatic, berry-coloured grape varieties, suitable for cultivation for the Abruzzo region, up to a maximum of 15%.
The Abruzzo wines fully express the spirit of the territory.
Source(s): wineandtravelitaly, wine-searcher