By Paul Caputo

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.

Appellations of Abruzzo

Abruzzo DOC

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.

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Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC

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.

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Colli Aprutini IGP

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.

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Colli del Sangro IGP

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.

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