The deep and dark wines made from the Montepulciano grape varietal have been hugely popular in Italy for over a thousand years, and remain popular to this day due to their large ripe flavors, and easy drinking character. Indeed, the Montepulciano grape is the second most cultivated red wine grape in Italy, with it being grown in twenty of the country's ninety five wine provinces. In recent decades, it has been cultivated in several other countries in the New World, in places with the correct warm and dry climatic conditions it thrives in. The Montepulciano grape has a low acidity, and medium levels of tannin, making it a smooth wine with a relatively light body, allowing the delicious flavors of ripened autumn fruits take center stage. It produces high yields, and matches well with many different foods.
Abruzzo is a fascinating part of Italy, and one which is quite ideal for viticulture. With a stunningly mixed landscape featuring mountains and coastlines, there is plenty of variation in Abruzzo when it comes to terroirs and climatic conditions. As such, across the region there are many different wines made with the grape varietals which flourish there, despite the vast majority of the region's vineyards being used only for Montepulciano and Trebbiano varietal grapes. As with many of Italy's ancient wine regions, the historic area of Abruzzo suffered a drop in reputation during the mid twentieth century. However, recent decades have seen a real effort made by the region's wineries when it comes to improving the quality and character of their wines, and today, the region is producing several impressive wines, packed full of character, history and tradition, alongside superb flavors and aromas.
For several decades in the mid to late twentieth century, Italy's reputation for quality wines took a fairly serious blow. This was brought about partly due to lack of regulation in certain regions, and too much regulation in others. This led to several wineries in the beautiful and highly fertile region of Tuscany making the bold move to work outside of the law, which they saw as responsible for the drop in quality in Tuscan wines. They believed that they had the expertise and the generations of experience necessary with which to make truly excellent, world class wines, and set about doing just that. These 'Super Tuscans', as they came to be known, quickly inspired the rest of Italy to improve their produce, and now, Italian wine producers in the twenty-first century are widely recognised to be amongst the best in the world. Regulation and law began to change, and wine drinkers across the globe woke up to the outstanding wines coming out of Italy, which are continuing to improve and impress to this day.