Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the flagship wine of Abruzzo, accounting for over 80% of the region’s DOC production. The soft, round, full-bodied and juicy red wines are made from the Montepulciano grape which grows and ripens best in Italy’s southern half.
Abruzzo is dominated by around 40 co-operatives making approximately 75% of all wine produced here, but it also has a roster of independent producers making good wines at reasonable prices. A small handful of pioneering producers, including Emidio Pepe and Valentini, make wines that stand head and shoulders above the majority of wines made here, and are held up as benchmarks for quality not just in Abruzzo, but across Italy.
Scroll down for the top 20 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine tasting notes and scores
With the total area under vine reaching 9,325ha (2018), Montepulciano d’Abruzzo covers a vast area. The western part of the region is mountainous, so vines are only grown on the foothills and the plain leading to the Adriatic coastline to the east.
Established in 1968, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC’s regulations stipulate maximum vineyard elevations of 500 metres above sea level – although sites with a southern exposure can be planted up to 600m, which helps to counteract the strength of the midday sun.