Abruzzo's rugged terrain and coastal hills produce some famous and noteworthy wines. While the varietals used aren't copious, they are excellent and have had centuries to be perfected.

MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO. Not to be confused with a wine called Nobile di Montepulciano (named after the city in Tuscany, and which is actually made from Sangiovese grapes), the grape varietal Montepulciano has long roots in Abruzzo. It was already well noted and documented in the 15th century. To avoid some of the confusion, the DOC label indicates Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. With its ruby hue and cherry notes, it is full bodied and balanced.

TREBBIANO. Written about Pliny, this grape has been cultivated for millennia and is one of the most diffuse in Italy, but the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo is the one most noteworthy and acclaimed. It is the region's only DOC white wine. Straw colored with golden apple and dry fruit flavors, it pairs well with Abruzzo's penchant for egg dishes, white meat (rabbit, duck and chicken are particularly used inland), and of course the coast's seafood.

CONTROGUERRA BIANCO. Made from Trebbiano and Passerina grapes, this blend creates a golden-colored liquid that is fruity and delicate yet rich.

CERASUOLO. A vino rosato (rose) that is made from Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes. Contact with the skins is just long enough to give a deep rosy hue and faint cherry fragrance to remind us what grape it comes from. Fruity, dry and crisp.

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