Located in the mountains of Central Italy along the Adriatic Sea, Abruzzo is one of Italy’s most productive wine regions. Although it’s not as large in terms of vineyard acreage in comparison to other high-yielding regions, Abruzzo pumps out over 22 million cases of wine each year. This is due to the four wine co-operatives existing in the region that are responsible for 80% of the region’s wines.
Wine co-ops are basically collaborative associations of smaller wineries that pool resources and technical advantages to create a larger production. This concept started decades ago for winegrowers who were short on cash but it has remained as an important section of Italy’s wine production, especially in Abruzzo. Many of the wines produced in these co-ops are sold to to winemakers in other countries to function as parts of a blend.
Abruzzo has four provinces within the larger region: L’Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti. Although there is wine produced in all four, Chieti is responsible for the bulk of production for the entire region and is the 5th most productive region in all of Italy.
The two key grapes in Abruzzo are the red Montepulciano and the white Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. There is a Montepulciano from Tuscany but we’re not talking about that one. Ours is obviously from Abruzzo and is bold and fruit with a medium amount of acidity. There’s a distinct earthiness that comes along nicely which makes it a lovely friend to hearty feasts of meat and game. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo happens to be one of Italy’s top DOCs with exports of about 10% of total production coming to the United States so it’s very easy for us to find.
Trebbiano is a common white grape in Italy with the other main appellation of production being in Tuscany. The two are fairly similar; in fact, DOC laws say that a Trebbiano d’Abruzze can be made of Trebbiano Toscano, as long as the bottle is 85% Trebbiano from either one of the regions. It’s a delightful white wine that is simply just refreshing. There aren’t many characteristics of the Trebbiano that are bold in any way; just flavors of citrus, a delicate dryness, and a crisp finish.
Abruzzo isn’t as commonly known in terms of popular regions of Italian wine but you certainly cannot go wrong with a Montepulciano or a Trebbiano. Because of their strong means of production, they can be fairly easy to find in a good wine shop here in the States!
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The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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