The most famous of Abruzzo wines and one of the most prestigious Italian red winesMontepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red variety of little fame and use in the past but which is now the protagonist of the success and fame of Abruzzo wines in the Italian wine firmament. Montepulciano used to be known as a neutral grape variety, and was not renowned for its qualities but for the questionable use that was made of it to make wine. A distant past – luckily – and today Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of the most prestigious Italian red wines, thanks to the determination of the producers who believed in the resources and potential of their region, and in the grapes that they had always grown. They often went against trends and, amidst the general scepticism (and in clear contrast with the wine making traditions and philosophy in Abruzzo at that time) introduced new technologies and modern methods that enabled Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to achieve the highest levels of recognition around the world. The aim was to produce Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from the pure variety, to give it its own specific character which was derived from the qualities of the land. It has a deep, close-knit ruby red colour, a bouquet of cherries, ripe red berries, blackberries and spices with notes of liquorice roots. Possible tones of vanilla, prunes and smokiness given by ageing in wooden barrels. On the palate it is juicy, warm with a delicious smoothness and well integrated vibrant tannin. It is excellent served with traditional Abruzzo dishes, the rich second courses, classic roasts and grilled meat. From rosé fermentation of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes a rosé wine is produced: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo should not be confused with the Nobile di Montepulciano wine that is made in Tuscany from Sangiovese grapes, and takes its name from the town where it is produced.