This month, Italian Food, Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT) blogging group is virtually traveling to Abruzzo and Le Marche. We will be chatting about the regions under the hashtag #ItalianFWT bloggers on Saturday, May 6 at 11am ET/8am PT. Join us for the fun if you can break away from the Coronation. Read what my fellow bloggers have to say about the area. A good place to start is our host Linda Whipple’s ,invitation post.
I have had the good fortune to visit both of these regions and to taste a lot of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo in recent years thanks to work I have done for the Conosrzio Tutela dei Vini d’Abruzzo. This past summer, I was also able to attend the Wine Media Bloggers conference and attend a seminar on Trebbiano d’Abruzzo on Lake Garda. Pretty fun stuff.
More recently, Slow Wine had a trade fair in New York where again, I attended a seminar on Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. I am mentioning all of these events because years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine this many seminars on Trebbiano. For years people only considered Trebbiano as a neutral, not too interesting grape. Clearly, that is no longer the case and the richness and beauty of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is widely recognized by many.
About the region:
Abruzzo is in the center of Italy as we can see from the above maps. There are basically two types of typography in the area, mountains and the coastal areas. Grapes grown in the wide bands between the two. Abruzzo has some of the highest mountains in the Apennine mountain range, 65% of region is mountainous with the Gran Sasso d’Italia and the Majella Massif. In fact, there is no region in Europe like Abruzzo where more than 30% of the territory is protected by four parks (three national and one regional) and a dozen nature reserves and protected areas. That said, it also has coastal area with extensive hills.
About the climate:
- The climate is mild on the Adriatic-facing side of the Apennines and more continental in the inland basins.
- There is good rainfall and high levels of sunlight combine to make an advantageous area for growing grapes.
- The imposing Gran Sasso and Majella massifs are located a short distance from the sea (30-40 minutes by car) and the diurnal temperature shifts taken together with good ventilation, ensure an ideal microclimate for the vines to grow and produce high-quality grapes.
About the production areas which are concentrated almost entirely in the hills:
- Chieti province accounts for more than 75% of vineyards and 83% of production
- Pescara and Teramo, each accounting for about 10% of the vineyards, and 10% and 6%,respectively of production
- L’Aquila with less than 4%, about 1% comes from the province of L’Aquila.
About the grapes:
While Montepulciano is the most widely planted grape in the region, Trebbiano is a close second with 12,000 hectares planted. Trebbiano does well in this very green region of Italy thanks to soils, the climate, and the grapes adaptability.
Facts about Trebbiano d’Abruzzo:
- Evidence of the Trebbiano grape variety in Abruzzo dates back to the 16th century when Andrea Bacci, in his work “De naturali vinorum historia” pointed out the presence of a wine made from Trebulanum grapes in the Fucino and the Peligna areas.
- Trebbiano is a medium to late harvest grape, with grapes ripening approximately from 20 September to 10 October.
- It has great acidity, can be delicate and light but can also have complexity as well.
- Many use lees aging or barrel maturation to give it more texture.
- 192,000 hl of Trebbiano d”Abruzzo produced annually.
- Trebbiano d’Aburzzo DOC covers the same area as the Montepulciano DOC, not the Western hilly section of the region but the middle and coastal bands.
- Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC is made from Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and/or Trebbiano Toscano varieties with the help of other white grapes suitable for cultivation in the Abruzzo region, either alone or blended up to a maximum of 15%.
- The grapes used to make Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC grow in hilly or plateau soils, with an altitude not exceeding 500 meters above sea level and 600 meters if exposed to the south.
About the wines produced:
Wines made using the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC denomination tend to use almost 100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzo but are allowed to use 15% Trebbiano Toscana. Generally, producers look to make a wine that is ready to consume the year the year it is harvested and ready for the market although I have had aged Trebbiano as well. Aromas on the nose are apples and yellow pear with floral notes of acaccia white flowers. The wines have good acidity and length, medium alcohol, and tend to finish with a slight bitter note, typical of Italian white wines, really all Italian wines in my opinion. I think it’s a perfect sip for spring. New, lemon yellow in color, fresh, and lively – all signs of growth, hope, and good vibes for this beautiful season.
Older Trebbianos can of course take on more mature aromas and flavors, with more mature fruit and dried flower notes coming through but this is not typically what you will find on the shelves in a retail store. It’s the fresher versions that abound.
One of the wines I have recently enjoyed was from the Velenosi family have long been favorites of mine and at this point I consider both Angela and her daughter Marianna friends.Despite knowing Angela I think for 15 years now, I was only recently introduced to their Abruzzo winery. In fact one of their wines was shown at the Wine Media Conference in October. Prope. A fresh version of Trebbiano that ages in concrete tanks and rests of its fine lees which gives it texture.
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm: “Welcoming Spring with Farinelli Rosé”
- Cam from Culinary Cam: “Frecantò di Verdure, the Marche’s Version of Ratatouille, with the 2021 Colleleva Lacrima di Morro d’Alba”
- Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles: “Pecorino from Marche and Montepulciano from Abruzzo, exploring a bit of the wild lands of Italy’s Eastern Coast”
- Andrea from The Quirky Cork: “Pecorino Shines with Creamy Asparagus Pasta”
- Jennifer from Vino Travels: “Wines of Le Marche with Il Conte Villa Prandone”
- Susannah from Avvinare: “Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo, A Perfect Sip for Spring”
- Gwendolyn from Wine Predator: “Cerasuolo from Organic Famiglia Febo and Biodynamic Lunaria Paired with Abruzzo Inspired Menu: Mussels and Saffron, Pecorino and Pasta”
- Cindy from Grape Experiences: “Uno Spuntino! Castorani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Casauria Riserva 2015 with Grilled Pecorino Cheese Sandwiches”
- Linda from My Full Wine Glass: “Two Verdicchio stars in the Marche wine firmament”
[…] Susannah Gold of Avvinare shares “Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo, A Perfect Sip for Spring” […]
What great information on the region. I really want to taste an aged Trebbiano d’Abruzzo now!!
Thanks for reading. They are lovely and I think right up y our alley. Susannah
I am fairly certain that I have never tried a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. You are always a font of inspiration to me. Cin cin.
What a nice thing to say. I think you will like this variety, fresh and appealing but more structured than some trebbianos. Cheers and happy birthday. Susannah
That is a really nice thing to say. I tried to be informative but sometimes go down the rabbit-hole of memories or too geeky but it’s my passion so it happens…. Cheers.
Thanks for shining a light on Trebbiano. In WSET classes, this delicate variety certainly isn’t given its due. Also, I always enjoy reading about your personal connections to the land and people.
Linda – Thanks for stopping and for hosting this month. Trebbiano is a super fun grape I have found. I actually have lots of connections to the region now, who knew. Cheers to you.