Inside Stories

“Grapefully Yours” – Tiny Abruzzo

Italy’s province of Abruzzo may be small geographically, but in the wine world it’s getting larger and larger every day.

On Nov. 11, Wine Enthusiast handed out its Wine Star Awards and named Abruzzo its “Wine Region of Year 2022.” The central Italian province beat out Marlborough, New Zealand; Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon; Uco Valley, Argentina; and SLO Coast, Calif., among other finalists.


According to competition organizers, Abruzzo is “a hidden gem” for the most passionate oenophiles; from its unspoiled villages to its breathtaking natural landscapes, filled with waterfalls, rivers, and historic castles.

With three national parks and 38 natural wildlife preserves, Abruzzo is often described as Europe’s “green forest.”

Its eastern coastline touches the Adriatic Sea. Its mountainous western border is only 30 miles from Rome (Lazio province).

Abruzzo is Italy’s fifth largest wine-producing region with 75,000 acres under vine – about twice the size of Napa Valley. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is both the No. 1 red grape and red wine.

In mid-October, I attended a private tasting seminar – titled “The Charming Taste of Europe” – featuring eight premium 100 percent Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC wines at Rochambeau in Boston.

Master Sommelier Michael Meagher led the tasting with insightful elan. He was ably assisted by Davide Acerra, communications director for the Consortium for Protection of Abruzzi Wines which represents 250 wineries and 35 cooperatives.

“Abruzzo is a tiny wine-producing region in the global scheme of things,” said Meagher, “but the wines – these in particular – are the hidden gems of Italy. They are delicious, affordable and high quality.”

In recent years, young winemakers and new investors have brought modern ideas, new technology and a respect for protecting the land to Abruzzo. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines have benefitted greatly, with the demand for quality outstripping quantity as a primary goal.

To say the least, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a great Italian red wine, is no longer a secret.

The following is a summary of each Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine with comments from Sommelier Meagher and my impressions;

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