Despite the outward simplicity of Abruzzi’s DOC system, certain details of Abruzzi’s production are worth pointing out. The native Montepulciano (not to be confused with the town of that name in Tuscany where Vino Nobile is made) is a vine of convincing character that has been winning admirers abroad.

In parts of the Abruzzi, notably in the low hills of the northern province of Teramo (where it can be referred to as Colline Teramane),Montepulciano becomes a red of irresistible character, full-bodied, even robust, with a capacity to age but with such supple smoothness that it can be eminently drinkable even when young.

In higher inland areas, or from vineyards where growers have the habit of high yields, the wines tend to be lighter, often better suited to Cerasuolo, a sturdy cherry-colored rosé. Most Trebbiano is based on the prolific Tuscan variety, which makes light, rather acidic whites of subtle aroma and flavor.

A few growers work with the true Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (which may or may not be related to the Bombino Bianco of Apulia). A choice few have managed to make Trebbiano of remarkable depth and texture, with a propensity to develop complexity with four or five years, sometimes even more, of aging. But those fine wines are not easy to find.

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