Abruzzo

Abruzzo

42° 11' 31" N

LATITUDE

13° 43' 44" E

LONGITUDE

7

subregions

about this region

Nestled on the eastern coast of Italy, Abruzzo is a captivating wine region that unveils a world of vinous treasures. Bordered by Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and southwest, and Molise to the southeast, this picturesque land boasts a proud winemaking heritage and a tapestry of vineyards that paint the landscape.

Within Abruzzo's borders, a diverse array of grape varietals thrives. The native red Montepulciano and white Trebbiano take center stage, crafting wines of distinction and character. Montepulciano, in particular, shines with its bold fruitiness and expressive flavoirs, showcased in the esteemed Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane, a coveted DOCG.This wine region that has 1 DOCG, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane, and 7 DOC: Abruzzo, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, Controguerra, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Ortona, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and Villamagna further exemplify the region's winemaking prowess.

While Montepulciano and Trebbiano reign supreme, Abruzzo also embraces other grape varietals, albeit in smaller volumes. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot add international flair, while indigenous gems like Sangiovese, Passerina, and Pecorino lend a distinct local touch to the region's viticultural tapestry.

Associations

197684

Vineyard Hectares

250

WINERIES

1300 - 1800

growing degree days

Discover Terroir

The Abruzzo wine region is situated in central-eastern Italy, flanked by the rugged Apennine Mountains to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east. This diverse geographical landscape creates a range of microclimates, making Abruzzo a particularly interesting and varied region for viticulture. The region encompasses four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti, with Chieti being the largest producer of wines.

The unique topography of Abruzzo includes coastal plains that rise quickly into hills and mountainous terrain. The coastal areas enjoy a Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and warm, dry summers. As one moves inland toward the mountains, the climate becomes more continental, with colder winters and more significant temperature variations between day and night. These climatic differences influence the types of grapes that can be successfully grown in each area.

From the sun-kissed Adriatic coastline to the elevated vineyards nestled in the foothills of the Gran Sasso and Maiella mountain ranges, Abruzzo offers a wealth of terroirs. This diversity allows for the production of a range of wines, from robust reds like Montepulciano d'Abruzzo to crisp, aromatic whites like Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.

In summary, Abruzzo's location—with its blend of sea and mountain influences, and varying altitudes and climates—makes it a dynamic and intriguing wine-producing region that captivates both novice wine enthusiasts and seasoned connoisseurs alike.

The climatic conditions vary across Abruzzo. Along the coast, warm and dry summers prevail, while inland areas experience a more continental climate, characterized by hotter summers and colder winters. These contrasting microclimates contribute to the rich tapestry of wines crafted in this captivating region.

One of Abruzzo's defining features is its remarkable diurnal temperature variation. As the sun sets on the rugged terrain, cool breezes from the coast sweep through the vineyards, creating a harmonious balance. These coastal influences, combined with the region's thermal diversity, provide an optimal environment for grape cultivation, allowing the fruits to reach their peak ripeness.

The soil composition in Abruzzo's vineyards can vary, but some soil types are more prevalent and contribute significantly to the characteristics of the region's wines. Here are the top three soil types typically found in the Abruzzo wine region:

  1. Calcareous Clay: Calcareous (or calcareous clay) soils are often found in the hilly areas of Abruzzo, particularly in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. These soils are rich in limestone and clay, which provide good drainage and water retention, respectively. This type of soil is particularly favorable for Montepulciano grapes, contributing to the grape's vibrant acidity and complex flavors.
  2. Alluvial Soils: Found mainly in the lower-lying coastal plains, alluvial soils consist of sand, silt, and clay deposited over time by rivers. These soils tend to be fertile and well-drained, making them suitable for a variety of grape types, including Trebbiano. The alluvial soil contributes to a softer, fruitier profile in wines.
  3. Loamy Soils: A balanced mixture of sand, silt, and clay, loamy soils offer excellent structure and fertility. They provide good water retention while still allowing for adequate drainage, offering a balanced environment for grapevines. Loamy soils can be found in various parts of Abruzzo and are versatile enough to support both red and white grape varieties.

The diversity of these soils, coupled with varying microclimates across the region, allows for a great diversity of Abruzzo wine, from robust Montepulciano d'Abruzzo reds to crisp and refreshing Trebbiano d'Abruzzo whites.

Discover

Most Planted Red Grape Varietals:

  • Montepulciano: This is the flagship red grape of Abruzzo and should not be confused with the Tuscan wine of the same name, which is actually made from Sangiovese grapes. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines are robust, full-bodied, and feature flavors of dark fruit, tobacco, and spices.

White Grape Varietals:

  • Trebbiano: This white grape is also known as Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and is one of the most widely planted white grapes in the region. The wines are often light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and flavors of green apple, lemon, and sometimes floral notes.
  • Pecorino: Though not as widespread as Trebbiano, Pecorino has gained attention for its aromatic qualities and fuller body compared to other white grapes in the region. It offers flavors of citrus, green apple, and sometimes tropical fruits, with a mineral undertone.
  • Passerina: Another white grape variety that is gaining popularity, Passerina produces wines that are aromatic and fresh, with floral and citrus notes.

These are the principal grape varietals in terms of acreage and production, although Abruzzo also has other, less common varietals, both red and white. Some of these include Coccociola and Montonico for whites, and smaller quantities of international varietals like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for reds.

Abruzzo is known for its thriving wine industry and the production of distinctive wines. Here are some of the most popular Abruzzo wines:

  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is the flagship Abruzzo wine and is made primarily from the Montepulciano grape variety. It showcases rich flavours of dark berries, cherries, spices, and a touch of earthiness. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is known for its medium-to-full body, vibrant acidity, and soft tannins, making it an approachable and versatile red wine.
  • Trebbiano d'Abruzzo: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo is a white Abruzzo wine produced from the Trebbiano grape, also known as Trebbiano Abruzzese. It exhibits refreshing acidity, delicate floral aromas, and flavours of citrus, green apple, and herbs. Trebbiano d'Abruzzo is recognized for its crispness and light-to-medium body, making it an excellent choice for pairing with seafood, salads, and light dishes.
  • Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo: Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is a rosé wine crafted from the Montepulciano grape variety. It showcases a beautiful pink colour and offers red berries, cherries, and floral notes flavours. Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is valued for its refreshing acidity, medium body, and versatility in food pairing, complementing a range of dishes from antipasti to grilled meats.
  • Pecorino: Pecorino is a white Abruzzo wine. It exhibits flavours of citrus, tropical fruits, and herbs, with a distinct minerality. Pecorino wines are known for their medium-to-full body, crisp acidity, and excellent aging potential. They pair well with seafood, poultry, and flavorful cheeses.
altitude

550 m

rain

600 - 1300 mm

soil

Calcareous Clay, Alluvual, Loamy

top varietal

Montepulciano, Trebbiano

History of wine

Ancient Roots: Pre-Roman Times to Roman Empire

The story of Abruzzo's wine heritage begins in antiquity. Long before Italy was unified as a nation, the ancient tribes of the Abruzzo region were already cultivating vines. The Japigi, a pre-Roman tribe, were known to produce a form of "vinum," which caught the attention of the Roman conquerors. The Romans would later improve viticultural techniques, bringing an air of sophistication to the practice.

Medieval Resilience: Dark Ages to Renaissance

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the region faced numerous invasions, from the Lombards to the Byzantines, and the practice of winemaking saw a decline. However, the monastic orders, particularly the Benedictines, took up the mantle. Monasteries became centers of agricultural knowledge, including viticulture. Manuscripts detailing grape cultivation and winemaking helped preserve the art during these tumultuous times.

The Rise of Montepulciano: 16th to 18th Centuries

By the late Renaissance, the wines of Abruzzo started garnering attention beyond its borders. Records from the 16th century describe Montepulciano as a high-quality grape varietal. In 1796, the first documented use of the term "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo" appeared, giving an official stamp to the wine that had already won hearts.

A Region Defined: 19th to Early 20th Century

The 19th century saw the advent of scientific viticulture. While the scourge of phylloxera hit many European vineyards, Abruzzo managed to recover relatively quickly. The early 20th century was a period of formalization for Italian wines, and Abruzzo wines began to be categorized and regulated. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo received Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1968, a major milestone.

Modern Revival: Late 20th Century to Present

In the late 20th century, Abruzzo winemakers began to shift from quantity to quality, echoing a movement seen in other Italian wine regions. New winemaking techniques, including temperature-controlled fermentation and the use of French oak barrels, improved the region's wines. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo started receiving international acclaim. The white Trebbiano d'Abruzzo also gained respect, particularly when vinified with care to yield structured, complex wines.

Today, Abruzzo stands as a region that deftly combines ancient traditions with modern innovations. From the slopes of the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic coast, the region's diverse terroir continues to yield wines that reflect its rich history and dynamic character.

And so, the Abruzzo wine region, born of ancient soils and nurtured through centuries of adversity and triumph, invites wine enthusiasts to explore its deep-rooted legacy—one glass at a time.

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