In a nation of myriad appellations, Abruzzi offers wine drinkers refreshing simplicity. The long-standing regionwide DOCs for Montepulciano and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo have been complemented by an appellation for Controguerra. Abruzzi boasts highly favorable natural conditions for grapevines. Growers favor the predominant Montepulciano and Trebbiano.
Despite the outward simplicity of Abruzzi’s DOC system, certain details of Abruzzi’s production are worth pointing out. The native Montepulciano is a vine of convincing character that has been winning admirers abroad. In parts of the Abruzzi, Montepulciano becomes a red of irresistible character, full-bodied, even robust, with a capacity to age but with such supple smoothness that it can be eminently drinkable even when young. In higher inland areas, the wines tend to be lighter, often better suited to Cerasuolo, a sturdy cherry-colored rosé. Most Trebbiano is based on the prolific Tuscan variety, which makes light, rather acidic whites of subtle aroma and flavor. A few growers work with the true Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. A choice few have managed to make Trebbiano of remarkable depth and texture, with a propensity to develop complexity with four or five years of aging.