Abruzzo has for a long time been Italy’s go to region for good value red wine. The draw is almost always Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, an often cheap and cheerful red wine made from the local Montepulciano grape. In the hills that descend from the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains towards the Adriatic Sea, the variety accumulates attractive flavours of forest fruits and ripe jam, while at the same time offering up soft but fleshy tannins.
Despite the reputation, there are a number of premium quality wines made from appellations that are rarely seen outside of Italy. The finest expression of Montepulciano comes from the Teramane hills and is labelled as Colline Teramane Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG. Wines such as Azienda Agricola Illuminati’s Zanni provide a great insight into the distinctive elements of terroir that lift the appellation above that of the standard Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Farnese’s ‘Opi’ Riserva is also a very worthy example.
Controguerra is a mall DOC in Abruzzo. This classification exists in just a handful of municipalities in the province of Teramo, in the north of the region: Controguerra, Torano Nuovo, Ancarano, Corropoli and Colonnella. It is known for its white wines from Pecorino and Passerina, while red wines boast a majority of Montepulciano.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC is a red wine appellation in the region of Abruzzo producing soft and approachable wines from the local Montepulciano grape. It is not to be confused with the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany.
Abruzzo DOC is a regional appellation allowing for the production of different styles of wine, most notably from Montepulciano and Trebbiano. There is however a growing focus on Passerina and Pecorino.
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a rosé wine appellation in Abruzzo that was formerly part of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, but since 2010 has stood alone in order to showcase the quality of the region’s pink wines. They are made with the local Montepulciano grape.
Colli Apruniti allows for a number of wines to be made in the Province of Teramo in Abruzzo. Reds, whites and rosati, as well as frizzante and passito can be produced. The IGP permits a vast amount of grape varieties to be used.
Colli del Sangro IGP covers wines made from a large list of different grapes varieties in certain communes within the Province of Chieti in Abruzzo.
Colline Frentane covers winemaking in a small area south of Ortona in Abruzzo. A large list of grape varieties are permitted here, but Passerina and Pecorino are popular choices for growers.
The wines of Colline Pescaresi are produced all over the province of Pescara in Abruzzo. A range of different varieties are grown here, but generally they reflect what is grown elsewhere in the region, such as Montepulciano, Trebbiano Abruzzese, Pecorino and Passerina.
Colline Teatine is a regional appellation for wine production in various villages in the province of Chieti.
Colline Teramane Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is Abruzzo’s premium quality growing area for the local but highly prized Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape.
Covering the whole province of L’Aquila, Terre Aquilane is a regional appellation for an extensive list of different grape varieties.
Terre di Chieti covers winemaking around the town of Chieti in Abruzzo.
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is one of Italy’s best known white wines, appreciated for its light and generally fruity style, as well as its very affordable prices. While there is a lot of simple, unmemorable wine made here, there are also some serious wines made by estates such as Valentini and Tiberio.
Tullum was a small, but high quality DOC wine in Abruzzo. In 2019 it was granted approval to become Italy’s 75th DOCG wine. Wines from the 2019 vintage will be labeled as DOCG, and any 2018 wine that meet the DOCG standards can claim the classification retrospectively.
Small red wine DOC in Abruzzo made with the Montepulciano grape.