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Home > Variety > Montepulciano
Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety that is most noted for being the primary grape behind the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine Offida Rosso, Montepulciano d Abruzzo Colline Teramane (as well its larger DOC outside of Colline Teramane), Rosso Conero and the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines Rosso Piceno Superiore.
The grape is widely planted throughout central and southern Italy, most notably in Abruzzo, Latium, Marche, Molise, Umbria and Apulia, and is a permitted variety in DOC wines produced in 20 of Italy's 95 provinces. Montepulciano is rarely found in northern Italy because the grape has a tendency to ripen late and can be excessively green if harvested too early. When fully ripened, Montepulciano can produce deeply colored wines, with moderate acidity and noticeable extract and alcohol levels.
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Montepulciano is produced in all four provinces of Abruzzo--L'Aquila, Chieti, Pescara and Teramo—with the southern province of Chieti producing the largest total quantity of wine. The mountainous province of L'Aquila is noted mainly for the dry rosé labeled as Cerasuolo produced in the DOC. The most favorable vineyards are planted in the northern provinces of Pescara and Teramo with the later having its own DOCG designation above Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.
Montepulciano Grapes

These northern provinces benefit from having less fertile soils with more ferrous clay and limestone mix and higher elevations as the Apennines draw closer to the Adriatic. This creates cooler microclimates that tend to produce more concentrated wine.