Abruzzo, home to the famed Montepulciano grape, lies in the centre of Italy, the ‘back knee’ of the boot. It neighbours Marche to its north, Lazio to its west and Molise to its south-east.
With the Adriatic Sea to its east, this rugged, mountainous region has the benefit of a moderating Mediterranean climate – with warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Coupled with the Apennines being along its western border (including Corno Grande, the highest point on mainland Italy), thus sheltering the region from storms from the west, Abruzzo is ideal for vine growth.
Unfortunately, this advantage had until previous years, led to overproduction by wineries operating mainly as co-operatives, resulting in a reputation of Abuzzo wines being cheap and generic, with much of the region’s production used in other regions for blending purposes. Turning the tide, growers are increasingly operating their own boutique or artisanal wineries, rather than as cooperatives, thus focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Wine is produced in all four provinces of the Abruzzo region. The bulk of production comes from the Chieti province in the south, with the remainder from the other three: Pescara and Teramo in the north, and L'Aquila in the south.