Italian wine: Wines of Abruzzo

Oct 29, 2014 876

WTI Magazine #46    2014 October, 29
Author : Jennifer Gentile Martin      Translation by:


The Abruzzo region of Italy is surrounded by the Corno Grande on one side, which is the highest peak of the Appennine mountains, and on the other the Adriatic Sea. The Corno Grande is part of the Gran Sasso d'Italia, meaning great rock of Italy, which is the mountain chain in the north west part of Abruzzo. The region is a great a combination of maritime and fresh mountain air with a drier climate. South of the region, in Chieti, the vineyards face a lot of humidity and heat.

Abruzzo is one of the top wine production regions in Italy. Much of the production is dominated by cooperatives like Citra, Cantina Tollo and Casal Thaulero and many are located in the southern part of the region. This region is trying to change its image from being known as bulk producers to smaller wineries specializing in quality. One of the most popular winemakers of this region is Edoardo Valentini, but you will have trouble finding his wine in the states due to an issue with the American authorities back in the 70's. Masciarelli is also another big name of the region where Marina Cvetic has taken over after Gianni Masciarelli passed away in 2008.

There are four provinces in Abruzzo:
• Chieti (about 2/3 of the wineries are located here)
• Pescara
• Aquila
• Teramo

The popular DOC's of the Abruzzo region are: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC and two newer DOC's Controguerra (1996) and Teramane DOC (1995).

The two most popular grapes of this region and the ones that are exported the most are Trebbiano d'Abruzzo (white wine) and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (red wine).

White wines of Abruzzo
Trebbiano is the star of this region when it comes to white wines. You may also be familiar with this grape as it's known as ugni blanc in France. Trebbiano typically has higher acidity with low extract and is aromatic on the nose. It usually is lighter in body and dry. The Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC was created in 1972.

Red wines of Abruzzo
The rosé wines of this region are some of the heftier rose wines because of the Montepulciano grape that they are produced from, but it depends on the producer and the amount that the skins are macerated with the juice. This rosé is known as Cerasuolo, meaning cherry. It typically shows strawberries and dried cherry along with some spice. This Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo DOC was created in recent years in 2010.

The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC was created in 1968 and takes up a good part of the region. Don't confuse this grape with that of the town, Montepulciano, which is located in Tuscany and produces the sangiovese grape. This grape is dark in color with low acidity and notes of blackberries and ripe fruit.

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