Abruzzo

Regional detail

Location

Running down Italy's east coast Abruzzo is where Italy divides itself between North and South. The regional capital is Aquila which was hit by a severe earthquake recently. Abruzzo is no longer called "Abruzzi" since the region of Molise became a separate political entity in 1963 (to the south of Abruzzo)

Climate

Mediterranean but with cooling Adriatic sea breezes and thermal downdrafts from the snowy mountains of the nearby Appenines.

Topography

This is one of those rare places in the world where you can ski and swim in one day and in view of most vineyards is both the Adriatic and southern Italy's tallest mountain south of the Alps "il Gran Sasso".

Soils

Mixed limestone and marl, iron rich subsoils.

Average annual production

3.403.000 HL
Abruzzo Placeholder
Abruzzo

Grapes

Coccociolla

Description

An indigenous white grape making that was nearly extinct until very recently. Traditionally blended in the "local grapes" component of the Trebbianos but is now making something of a reappearance due to its traditiona of being a higher quality grape than Trebbiano's volume character.

Principle Wines

coccociolla grape
Montepulciano

Description

Abruzzo is this grapes natural home – and is virtually unchallenged. The vast majority planted to tendone but rapidly changing to Spalliera. A relatively late ripener – late September to mid October (& sometimes beyond depending on site). Skins are rich in polyphenols (esp. anthocyanins) – requiring hsort macerations for good extracts and avoiding tougher tannins. For this, it is also a good blender. Some quality ptroducers macerate longer, producing wines of great structure, complexity and longevity.

Principle Wines

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Cerasuolo
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Cerasuolo
Passerina

Description

Aka Bianchello (le Marche) it is now making a come back with a surge of other indigenous grapes fro Abruzzo. A white grape making zippy, fresh citrus wines.

Principle Wines

Controguerra Bianco
passerina grape
Pecorino

Description

Once in decline, it has bounced back with avengance being part of the all new Italian whites wines made in a reductive rather than a very poor oxidative style. Some very good quality Pecorinos now exist in the market.

Principle Wines

Mostly IGTs + Controguerra Bianco
pecorino grape
Trebbiano Toscano

Description

Ubiquitous and unexciting despite some top growers trying to make it intpo a quality proposition even usuing barrique (!). It's still to convince.

Principle Wines

Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

Major Appellations DOCG/DOC

Controguerra DOC (a multi DOC*)

Description

This DOC was created in 1996 partly to give recognition to the winegrowing qualities of this tiny north Abruzzo enclave and partly to appease these Abruzzo producers in their desire to produce wines other than Montepulciano.

Principle Wines

Rosso: Montepulciano, Merlot, Cabernet
Bianco: Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Passerina
Varietal wines of the above.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG

Description

This relatively new DOCG was already envisaged as a subzone when the DOC was created in 1992. ocated in the north of the region where the land is more hilly and te soils are richer in minerals, this area produces a distinctly more important and complex wine than its siblings further south. Added to these complexities will be the extra ageing in the DOCG rules

Principle Wines

Montepulciano
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC

Description

The definitive wine from Abruzzo not to be confused of course with the wine from the town of Montepulciano which is in Tuscany. Most is volume, glugging simple wine. Some, however, are very interesting, complex wines of quality, show balsamic, green olive, juicy black fruit with tobacco notes

Principle Wines

Montepulciano

Other Appellations DOCG/DOC

Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC

Principle Wines

Trebbiano Toscano, Bombino Bianco

IGT Appellations

Alto Tirino
Colli Aprutini
Colli del Sangro
Colline Frentane
Colline Pescaresi
Colline Teatine
Del Vastese or Histonium
Terre di Chieti
Valle Peligna