Italian Indigenous Varieties: Montepulciano Nero

Montepulciano is a red grape that grows throughout central Italy. It is most widely found in Le Marche and Abruzzo. It’s confusing to many who think that Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made with this grape. It’s also sometimes erroneous thought to be the same grape as Sangiovese. It’s not. It can be a vigorous variety if not grown in a meticulous way. It is widely used for its ability to age and for the full bodied, medium tannin wines it produces. I know many lovely examples from both Le Marche and Abruzzo. Among them, wines made by Angela Velenosi who I have worked with off and on for many years, Emidio Pepe whose wines I wrote about here and other well known producers such as Umani Ronchi who I wrote about here.

I always find that people undervalue wines made from Montepulciano. I think they are wonderful, especially from certain areas like the Colline Teramane. Montepulciano figures in the DOCs Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno, Conero, I terreni di S. Severino, among others.

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