The 10 Best Wines Of Abruzzo, Italy

Abruzzo is one of Italy’s smallest but most picturesque regions. This is not to say that it’s small geographically – Abruzzo offers a range of landscapes, from the majestically dramatic Gran Sasso mountain in the Apennines to the sunny shores of the Adriatic.

Featuring wines made with locally grown grapes ranging from Montepulciano to Trebbiano, this collection includes classic bottles as well as quality selections from lesser-known regions.

The wines of Abruzzo are unique, with rich flavors and a history to match. They are bold and bright, with a longstanding reputation for longevity, elegance, and finesse.

History of the Region

history abruzzo italy

Abruzzo was once a kingdom called Marsi, and its citizens were proud mountain-dwelling people.

The 15th century marked the fall of their independence, and they became vassals to the kingdoms of Naples, Rome, and Venice. The history of the region is intimately linked to the history of Abruzzo.

Three distinct groups of people have called Abruzzo home: aboriginal inhabitants, Etruscans, and Romans.

As with much of Europe, the region saw a dramatic shift from locally produced goods to imports in the wake of invasions by foreign powers, but not before its wines had begun becoming widely exported across Europe.

Terroir and Climate

Abruzzo is a beautiful and fascinating region in the central part of Italy that stretches from the plains of the Adriatic Sea to the peaks of Mount Gran Sasso, one of Europe’s tallest mountains.

The soil here is fertile, ideal for growing grapes. The climate is influenced by three types of air masses: continental, oceanic and intermediate.

During the summer months (June to September), the continental air mass brings hot dry weather; this is usually accompanied by convective thunderstorms since such storms are caused by instability in humid air masses.

During most months of the winter season, an oceanic air mass produces mostly cloudy skies with precipitation coming from frontal troughs and passing through the West Coast from time to time.

The Top 10 Wines of Abruzzo

  1. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
  2. Trebbiano D’Abruzzo
  3. Pecorino
  4. Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo
  5. Castiglione D`Abruzzo
  6. Controguerra Passerina
  7. Spelt
  8. Nero d’Avola
  9. Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. Tullum

1. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo

montepulciano vineyard

The Montepulciano grape is a dark-skinned variety that yields deep, dark-colored wines.

It’s the principal component of Tintoretto red table wine, but we often blended with lighter-skinned varieties like Verdicchio or Trebbiano to create more approachable styles for drinking in their youth.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo makes powerful and structured wines with intense fruit notes (blackberries and plums) that can be delicious young, but they also show well given time to develop.

The Merlot form of this grape adds some body and structure to the wine while helping keep aromatics lively.

Each bottle contains 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes that have been sourced from some of the most prestigious vineyards in Central Italy.

This wine is medium-bodied and intense with rich cherry fruit and hints of spice on the finish.

2. Trebbiano D’Abruzzo

trebbiano d'abruzzo

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is this rose of Italy’s Abruzzi region, made from the white Trebbiano grape that we’ve all seen crushed in bottles of Chianti.

This wine’s fresh and fruity profile comes from an extreme yield limit on grapes (1/7 of what typical wines are pressed) and a short barrel aging process.

But despite its low alcohol content, it still manages to pack a tasty punch into every sip. The blend includes 85% Trebbiano grapes and 15% Biancolella grapes.

This is a bright and lively mid-weight Italian white with peach and melon fruit flavors, lemon zest acidity, and citrus-like minerality. It finishes very dry on the palate but has enough flavor to balance out that dryness.

3. Pecorino

pecorino
Image: Torre Dei Beati

The wine comes from the hills around L’Aquila and the border between Abruzzo and Lazio.

The grapes are made of a blend of Pecorino (60%) and Trebbiano di Soave (40%). The result is an aromatic, smooth, dry white wine with hints of peach and pear on the nose, as well as flavors of melon, apple blossom, and citrus on the palate.

It has an intense yellow color with greenish reflections, a light aroma of fruit, and toasted aromatic hints that take you straight to Sicily.

The taste is firm and full, slightly acidic with hints of citrus fruits and delicate hints of pine nuts. This wine has an excellent balance between freshness and strength, with pleasant acidity. The nose consists of fruit such as apple, apricot, and peach, but also vanilla and almond notes.

4. Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo

cerasuolo d'abruzzo

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo has the peculiarity of being made from nine different grapes varieties, each with its own unique characteristics.

The character of this wine is characterized by an intensification of the fruit aromas and a lingering aftertaste that combine with an elegant style.

Its amber color glows in your glass and its flavor brings out the rich aromas and bright fruitiness. The Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo is a wine of great versatility and elegance.

It may be a good choice for your everyday consumption or, if you are looking for that special occasion wine, it will fit the bill perfectly, as well.

5. Castiglione D`Abruzzo

castiglione d`abruzzo

This elegant wine combines the best of two worlds, Italy and Australia. Marchese Francesco Antinori, a leading Italian producer of red wines, created this wine by blending Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from central Italy and Australia’s Murray Valley Region.

The new Castiglione D`Abruzzo is a unique and prestigious Tuscan white wine based on the grape of the same name, cultivated in one of the most famous areas for producing superior quality grapes. It has an intense straw-yellow color with violet reflections.

The bouquet is complex, rich, and vibrant: floral notes of orange blossom and mimosa, very fresh mineral aromas, hints of white flowers and citrus fruits resulting from heirloom seeds from southern Italy; ripe fruit aromas after fermentation in wood barrels.

6. Controguerra Passerina

controguerra passerina

Controguerra Passerina is a classic Italian red that is ideal for any special occasion or simply enjoyed with family and friends.

This wine is made of organic grapes, grown in Tuscany, and is an excellent choice for those who enjoy wines with earthy red fruit flavors.

The grapes are hand-picked and carefully sorted before pressing, then fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures, gaining freshness and elegance without losing any of their characteristic fruitiness or perfume.

Dry and light on the palate, it has a hint of vanilla and spices which make it a perfect pairing with cheeses and meats.

The aromatic bouquet and flavourful taste of cherry and strawberry give this wine a fruity character that distinguishes it from other whites.

Its light body makes it perfect for summertime picnics, or anytime you want a chilled glass of bubbly!

7. Spelt

spelt

Spelt is one of the oldest grains in the world. Its name derives from the Latin word for spelt, “spelta”.

Its cultivation has been traced back to Celtic times, and many civilizations have used it as a primary food source since then, including the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Because of its durability, spelt was perfect for making bread in difficult conditions such as long sea voyages or dry climates.

It evolved during this process into the most popular ancient grain known; it is mentioned in over 600 ancient documents!

Today the wild spelt grains are harvested, crushed, and fermented for three days, creating complex layers of cherry, blackcurrant, and raspberry flavors.

Spelt Abruzzo is both traditional and contemporary: it has a round, elegant flavor and a taste that’s clean and crisp.

It’s an excellent choice for pairing with fish and shellfish, spicy foods, and desserts. Spelt AbruzzO also makes a great complement to cheese, meat, poultry, and salads.

8. Nero d’Avola

nero d'avola

Nero d’Avola is native to the Mediterranean island of Sicily. This dry red wine gets its name from the grape variety used to produce it, which was first planted around ancient Avola.

With an ABV of 14%, it has bold, full-bodied flavors and is perfect with all your classic Italian dishes, or just as a simple drink to enjoy with friends.

Nero d’Avola is a grape variety that has a long and illustrious history, tracing its origins from Sicily to date back to the 5th century.

This red wine hailing from Abruzzo, perfect for any occasion or pairing, is made using Nero d’Avola grapes grown in the south of Italy. It is a rustic wine with a deep color, thanks to its high tannin content.

Aged in oak barrels for 17 months, this has notes of ripe dark fruit such as blackberries and blackcurrants as well as hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa butter. Serve chilled at 16°-18°C.

9. Cabernet Sauvignon

cabernet sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon Abruzzo wine stands out for its perfect balance between fullness and freshness, obtained thanks to the blending of grapes from different grape varieties. The color is cherry red with hints of violet and bright garnet.

Overtones of vanilla and spices are accompanied by the scents of ripe blackcurrant, cherry paste, sweet plum, vanilla, and blackberry.

The wine is made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which are known for their deep, rich color and sweet fruity taste.

The wine’s deep ruby red color can also be accented by black currant and vanilla flavors that are sweetened with a hint of chocolate, coffee, and rich fruit notes. Its smooth finish will leave you craving more.

10. Tullum

tullum

The wines of Tullum are a tribute to tradition, craft, and the beauty of Abruzzo.

Focusing on native grapes and utilizing winemaking techniques that have been passed down through generations, they are at once traditional and The wine Tullum is born from a careful selection of grapes and the most recent technological production techniques.

It is also produced in limited quantities so that every vintage has its own personality and character. Made from selected grapes from the best vineyards in the Abruzzo region, this elegant pale straw-colored wine is characterized by an intense yellow color with golden reflections.

This wine is comprised of a blend of Trebbiano and Montepulciano grapes grown on the lower slopes of Mount Majella.

Trebbiano grapes are fermented separately prior to fermentation with Montepulciano, producing a soft and velvety texture, while maintaining a high level of acidity.