Viticulture in Abruzzo
Viticulture in Abruzzo is concentrated in coastal areas, with maritime subzones in the province of Chieti boasting one of the largest concentrations of vineyards in Italy. By contrast, vineyards in inland valleys are rather sparse yet the urge to address climate change has resulted in an increase in plantings at higher altitudes.
Pergola is the traditional training system in Abruzzo: once deemed not suitable for quality production, its shading effect has become a main strength in the face of rising temperatures.
Boasting one of the highest anthocyanin contents in the world, Montepulciano naturally gives rosè wine when vinified as a white wine. That is why Abruzzo plays a prominent role in the Italian rosè scene, housing the only DOC entirely devoted to rosè wine, Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo.
What are the grape varieties in Abruzzo?
Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo: The key grape variety in Abruzzo, accounting for the vast majority of the regional surface under vine.
An especially eclectic grape, it gives anything from simple and fruit-forward reds for immediate consumption to big and bold wines built for the long haul. Aromas often recall sweet dark cherries, plums, chocolate, leather, and tar. Racy tannins and a dark color deriving from high anthocyanin content are the main common point between these wines.
Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo is a traditional rosè wine made with Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. Displaying a dark ruby color, it is often closer to a light red than to Provence-style rosè. Once mainly consumed within the region, it is currently on the rise at a global level, combining the rich fruit flavors of Montepulciano with a lighter structure.
Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo: Trebbiano Abruzzese is a high-quality variety that boasts excellent transparency to terroir when yields are limited.
Entry-level examples may be fruity and light, making a good aperitivo, yet the most ambitious versions show world-class complexity – often bearing resemblance to Burgundy Grand Cru.
Trebbiano Toscano: the other grape giving Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo, Trebbiano Toscano usually produces simple and lighter wines than Trebbiano abruzzese.
Pecorino: native to the mountainous areas between Abruzzo and Marche, this up-and–coming white grape yields lower crops than Trebbiano, resulting in good to excellent quality wines displaying a distinctive herbal and citrusy quality, sometimes allied to floral aromas and a touch of tropical fruits. The wines are usually high-acid but also quite structured on the palate.
Other native white grapes:
- Moscatello di Castiglione a Casauria