Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Cerasuolo: Four Wines of Abruzzo

Learn about wines from Abruzzo. Does Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino and Cerasuolo ring a bell for you? Abruzzo wines and grapes to know about.

By Lele Gobbi
Feb 09, 2021

tagAlt.Casacanditella moutnains and valleys 8
tagAlt.Cave San Martino sulla Marrucina Villa Gemma Rosso e Crasuolo Cover tagAlt.Colonnella Lina Classica Montepulciano grapes 1 tagAlt.Schiavone Montepulciano Marina Cvetic vineyards 3 tagAlt.Company Tenuta I Fauri Majella


A fairy-tail-like territory charmingly criss-crossed by vineyards that follow each other up from the coast, and manage to penetrate seemingly impervious mountains and nature reserves.  The land is marked by appealing wild dunes and fresh pine woods, offering a taste of local story-telling.   

The area benefits from its status as an unique land enclosed between the Adriatic Sea and the rock formations of Gran Sasso, Majella and Monti della Laga.  These elements make the region naturally suited for the cultivation of vineyards.  The gentle sea-bound slopes reflect a geological uniformity and sweetness, whereas the inland and foothill areas are harsh and more volatile.  This juxtaposition of climates almost demands respect and admiration from visitors.

As we explore more of the region, the area’s most genuine virtue is demonstrated:  a region that manages to develop only alongside mountains and hills without ever giving way to plains.



Two grape varieties, Montepulciano and Trebbiano, almost wholly compose the ampelographic base of Abruzzo viticulture:  90% of the wines produced, in fact, come from these two varieties.  In the past, this viticultural patrimony was very complex and varied.  Historically, up until the end of the 18th century, Abruzzo was a land of Lacrima, Zibibbo, and Moscatello grapes.  Then the scourge of phylloxera struck, severely affecting local viticulture, resulting in the hegemonic duo vine varietals seen today.

Chieti and its province represent the main source from the quantitative perspective.  Amidst its languid hills, the vigorous inclinations of youthful viticultural realities (compared to the previous generations’ experiences), is not lacking.  Sometimes, these impulses ultimately turn into beautiful family adventures with flourishing futures.



The Montepulciano varietal historically comes from Valle Peligna, located in the province of L’Aquila.  This grape must not be confused with the wine produced in Montepulciano, Tuscany, which is crafted with the Sangiovese grape.

Today Montepulciano represents a truly great Italian wine, known and appreciated particularly in the United States, Canada, and Germany.

The Montepulciano vine produces a wine with a terrifically complex nectar, expressing many souls.  Montepulciano boasts many stylistic and interpretative profiles, and imbibes wine drinkers with a powerful, structured wine, notable for its elegance and numerous olfactory nuances, some of which are earthy in nature.  The aromas of the Montepulciano wine typically are more distinctive and expressive when aged.

You can also pick up on clear references to cherry and Morello cherry, and thick, strong tannins.  This wine is delightfully soothing, with a finish strongly supported by a considerable extractive and alcoholic strength.  The Montepulciano wine is a clear child of diverse climatic and pedological situations, born and raised in an array of altitudes and farming systems diversified to maximize the vine’s growing potential.  Montepulciano can claim today, with much more authority and energy, a formidable winemaker’s red wine.  The Montepulciano wine has lofty ambitions, desiring intrinsically to claim its place among the world's wine excellences.

Trebbiano is a grape capable of producing easy-drinking wines that are not particularly exciting.  This non-distinguishing feature increases drastically when yields of grape production are high.  Even though this reputation is actually not entirely untrue, we can’t overlook that there are a few essential wine producers who are able to coax some of the most nuanced and thrilling white wines within the entire Italian white wine scene.

We’d be remiss if we overlooked the “re-discovery” of indigenous grape varieties that were once abandoned, such as the Pecorino varietal.  This grape and its resulting wine are today gaining a significant following among a wide range of consumers.  Intense fruity aromas, sometimes with notes of anise and field grasses, this is a wine with a full structure supported by good acidity, sapidity, a good alcohol content, and a long persistent taste.

Finally we can admire the CerasuoloThis wine consistently amazes and wins over new admirers with is inherent freshness, structure and complexity.  Cerasuolo is exclusively obtained from the Montepulciano grape, the Cerasuolo "pink" version emits truly brilliant results.  This might also be the result of a conscious, realistic, wise reduction in the pursuit of the concentrated super-red grape version.



We can bear witness to a new age of Abruzzo wine development.  Wine markets are currently giving birth to the region’s evolutionary potential, and its ability to express a considerable versatility of soils and surfaces.  The Abruzzo-based wine makers are also most capable at marketing their wines in new, convincing ways, thanks also to the dedication and passion in recent years of the Consorzio Tutela Vini d'Abruzzo.

Winemakers in Abruzzo today are charged with
the tricky task of both managing and enlarging productive mountainside vineyards so that the wines might express the finest merits of their terroir.

Winemakers must also be capable of carrying through accurate analysis of even the most suitable micro-zones, allowing for new vines to be planted and additional investment to be made in the land.  The success of the winemaker’s efforts ultimately lead to further investment in the area, and additional research into cultivation practices.  The research winemakers will produce will ultimately serve to help other local producers assist the “Magnificent Four” thrive and continue in their fascinating evolutionary path.   


Curious about Abruzzo?  Don’t miss the collaboration between Mamablip and the Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Abruzzo, with exciting video presentations of the wines and landscapes of this special Southern Italian region.   If you’re curious about the Consorzio’s role in all this wonder, be sure to read more about them here.

Don't forget to register for Mamablip's weekly newsletter for updates on all the exciting newest Mamablip Blog articlesrecipes and other wine news from Italy.

tagAlt.Castello di Semivicoli landscape 6 tagAlt.Casacanditella Trebbiano Pecorino Castello White Grape Harvesting 7 tagAlt.Alessandro Di Nisio Vineyards landscape 9 tagAlt.Vigne Santa Cecilia Francavilla 10 tagAlt.People harvesting Abruzzo grapes 11 tagAlt.Abruzzo Gran Sasso Mountain 12 tagAlt.Calanchi Bucchianico 2 Trebbiano 13
all.sign in to leave a review

tagAlt.White barrels Cantina Masciarelli 2 tagAlt.Villa Gemma Cerasuolo Red Wine Bottle 4 tagAlt.Montupoli white grapes hanging vines 5 tagAlt.Malcesince Lake Garda landscape Cover

Explore Lake Garda and Garda DOC With Insider Access

An insider perspective on what makes Italy’s Garda DOC wine region worth exploring. Specialty wines distinguish Italy’s largest lake and its charming locales.

23/04/2021 | 507 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Podere Forte grain fields summer Cover

Biodynamic Farm Podere Forte Rolls out New Pasta Project

Classic Tuscan farmhouse noted for biodynamic farm approach takes on Pasta. Learn about new organic pasta selections from biodynamic leader in Tuscany.

21/04/2021 | 598 views
By Andrea Grignaffini
tagAlt.Borgogno Cascina Liste Cover

New Faces - Borgogno’s Youthful Guidance Earns Grand Results

Fresh leadership at historic Borgogno winery in Piedmont brings inventive results. New wines, new labels, new styles ensure continued spaces for renowned Langhe winery.

19/04/2021 | 488 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Piave Dop cheese cut Cover

Piave DOP Cheese: an Italian Heritage Worth Protecting

What makes the Piave DOP cheese selections a unique Italian gourmet treat. Different agings of Piave DOP cheese create range of eating possibilities.

16/04/2021 | 518 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Customers trying food 1

Modified Italian Cooking that Makes Italians "Mad at Food"

Why do Italians get worked up about their food and cultural appropriation? Learn why the Italian culinary movement can take the heat when others change it.

14/04/2021 | 645 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Etna Volcano Cover

Eastern Sicily’s Etna Wines take on the Wine World

Discover the wines of Eastern Sicily on the slopes of Etna. Explore the volcanic wine region in Sicily home to countless interesting, delicious wines.

12/04/2021 | 804 views
By Filippo Bartolotta
tagAlt.Happy couple opening wine Black Power 2

Bringing U.S. Black Power to the Wine World

How today’s wine world reflects a changing marketplace and rising groups interested in wines. Who are the new sommeliers breathing life into today’s wine world.

09/04/2021 | 647 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Osteria food sign Cover

Italy’s Diners Welcome Osterias as the New Trattorias

Italian diners select trattorias and osterias for comfort food, learn about both restaurants. Why Osterie in Italy are booming, and what to drink and eat there.

07/04/2021 | 532 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Capezzana overhead courtyard Cover

Capezzana: The History of Carmignano Through Its Villas

Discover how the Tuscan wine-making area of Capezzana is worth checking out. How does Capezzana integrate its Medici-based history with today’s wine market.

05/04/2021 | 749 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Alto Adige Wine Roads Cover

Südtirol 2018 Tasting and Chat with Consorzio Alto-Adige Head

Peek into a tasting of Alto Adige’s 2018 vintage from Northern Italy. Read what’s ahead for Consorzio’s plan to improve Alto-Adige wine outreach.

02/04/2021 | 485 views
By Francesca Ciancio