The sun-worshipping Montepulciano is one of Italy’s most important grape varieties. Wines vinified with these grapes can be drunk either young or after maturing for a while.
The Montepulciano grape variety:
origin, cultivation and vinification
Montepulciano is an old grape variety. Because their names are similar, it is often confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, but the latter is made from Sangiovese grapes. The Montepulciano grape variety is widely planted in central Italy and in Abruzzo is made into the well-known red wine Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Wines are also produced from Montepulciano in Umbria and Apulia as well. In the Marche wine region, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno are vinified from this grape.
The origins of the Montepulciano grape variety are shrouded in mystery. Some claim the grape was introduced to Abruzzo from Tuscany in the early 19th century. Others point to an 18th century source which locates Montepulciano in the Peligna Valley. According to yet another source, the home of the grape is the province of Pescara as it was mentioned in connection with Montepulciano wine around 1700.
Wine from the Montepulciano grape: characteristics
Montepulciano yields dark, mouth-filling and extract-rich wines that are mostly vinified dry. Montepulciano wines are further characterized by a velvety texture, a full body and notes of berries, cherries and potent spices – plums and tobacco are also in the bouquet. Good quality wines from the Montepulciano grape are harmonious with refined spice notes.