The wine list seldom goes beyond the range of the main three grapes with different degrees of elaboration, into chardonnays and cabs (Maschiarelli, Monti, Zaccagnini): the Abruzzi are really a land of two grapes, which makes them an exception in Italy. Here comes a list of 10 wineries, by alphabetical order:
— Nestore Bosco, Nocciano (Pescara)
A large organization (60 hectares) delivering fine Montepulciano reds. The basic one available in Paris (Davoli).
— Il Feuducchio, (Lamaletto Family), Orsogna (Chieti)
Large production (50 has+), some of it set aside to provide spectacular cuvees (e.g. the Margae). Also available in Paris (« Les Grandes Caves »). Not unexpensive.
— Azienda Agricola Dino Illuminati (Family), Controguerra, (Teramo)
Very large operation close to 1 M bottles, specially the basic MA Riparosso, sold in France by Nicolas. V.g. Colline Teramane (a local Teramo DOC for MA) “Zama”. Top said to be Controguerra (another DOC name for local MA) Riserva “Lumen”.
— Az Ag Antonio e Elio Monti (Familly) Controguerra (Teramo)
Another Controguerra (special soils and climate) operation, but a small one on 13 has. Only one brother left, but an energetic (teaching) daughter now on the staff. V.g. basic “Voluptas” and very attractive flagship Controguerra “Rio Moro”. Portrait of favourite dog on all bottles.
— Az Ag Maschiarelli, San Marino sulla Marrucina (Chieti). Also Teramo
One of the largest operations, a lot of purchased grapes, coming from three provinces. Where the land is owned densely planted vineyards and yield (below 50 hl/ha) control, are tried. Basic Montepulciano is… basic, but stakes rise steeply with “Marina Cvetic” (the name of the Serbian-born lady owner and manager) MA bottlings, and “Villa Gemma” MA. Also to recommend is “Iskra”, the spark, a MA from a new Teramo facility. Good Marina Svetic chard, too. This is where Kieran Falconer ended (see above).
— Nicola di Scipio, Ripa Teatina (Chieti)
What seems to be a new winery on the comune of Ripa Teatina (Cerasuolo country) made in 2007 a dramatic Cerasuolo we had the luck to sample on the spot. The other colours are also of course available, but details were missing.
— Torre dei Beati, Loreto Aprutino (Pescara)
Small (12 has) and perhaps little known but able to provide delicious, aged, MA Vigneto Cocciapazza. Available at l’ »Enoteca » in Paris.
— Az Ag Valentini (family), Loreto Aprutino (Pescara)
Regarded as a kind of ‘Royal Family’ of the Montepulciano, looking benignly from the heights of a superb castle/palace, in fact celebrated for its special kind of Trebbiano, which is unfair to a delicious Cerasuolo and impressive MA.
— Fattoria La Valentina, Spoltore (Pescara)
Medium sized (30 has on 2 farms) winery located near the Pescara coast. Good MA special cuvee “Spelt” and Cerasuolo. Top MA cuvees “Bellovedere” and “Binomio” have high reputation.
— AA Ciccio Zaccagnini, Bolognano (Pescara)
A dynamic operation (50 has), experimenting with low yields practices (cordone speronato training), famous for its cerasuoli and non-DOC wines, like chard and “Capsico”, a pure cabernet franc. This winery was not visited, nor wines tasted.