Just as the Abruzzo region is a little unknown gem within Italy so are its wines. Who knew that the region of Abruzzo produces more wine each year then the country of Chile! And you’d be hard pressed to find a poor quality wine within their production. An ancient heritage grape, Pecorino, has long been a well kept secret within the region, until recently. Unico’s Tenuta Ulisse is widely regarded as the best on the market at about €11/bottle (the 2008 vintage was awarded a gold medal at the 2009 International Wine Challenge in London). However, really good examples of Pecorino can be had for less than half. Another exceptional red is Pasetti’s Testarossa which retails for about €16/bottle. But again, good value for money can be had for considerably less.
Good summer wines to try are a Cerasuolo (a Blush) or a Rosato (a Rose), which can cost €3/bottle. For good staples, there are two wineries within Rocca San Giovanni and both produce Montepulciano d`Abruzzo (red) and Trebbiano d`Abruzzo (white) wines, they are definitely worth the visit.
Perhaps our all time favourite vintner is Catina Zaccagnini and their Tralcetto Montepulicano. Don’t be fooled by it’s strong colour, it has a soft flavourful palette and is gentle on the tannins.
Finally, each November Abruzzo is a buzz with the new season’s Novello Montepulciano. These new wines are so good they are a closely guarded secret and are considered far too good to export and can only be enjoyed at the new wine festivals.