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Montepulciano (grape)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Grape (Vitis)
Montepulciano growing in Abruzzi
Color of berry skinPurple
SpeciesVitis vinifera
Notable regionsAbruzzo
VIVC number7949

Montepulciano (UK: /ˌmɒntpʊlˈɑːn, -tɪp-/ MON-tay-puul-CHAH-noh, -⁠tih-,[1] Italian: [ˌmontepulˈtʃaːno]) is a red Italian wine grape variety that is most noted for being the primary grape behind the DOCG wines Colline Teramane Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Offida Rosso; and the DOC wines Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Rosso Conero, and Rosso Piceno Superiore.

It should not be confused with the similarly named Tuscan wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made from predominantly Sangiovese and is named for the town it is produced in, rather than for containing any Montepulciano grapes in the blend.

The grape is widely planted throughout central and southern Italy, most notably in Abruzzo, Lazio, 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.[2]

Origins and confusion with other Montepulciano wines

The spread of the Montepulciano grape throughout Italy

Although the varietal's name refers to the Montepulciano region in the province of Siena in Tuscany, its origin is more likely to be in the Abruzzo region in central Italy, possibly in the area of Torre de' Passeri. Because Sangiovese is widely grown in the Montepulciano area of Tuscany, Montepulciano has often been considered a synonym for Sangiovese, but this is contradicted by ampelographic observations and DNA profiling (Vouillamoz). [3] Despite its name, the Montepulciano grape does not seem to have any tangible connection to the town of that name or to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.[4] Furthermore, despite being widely planted throughout central Italy, the Montepulciano grape is not grown in the vineyards around the actual town of Montepulciano.[5]

Wine regions


After Sangiovese, Montepulciano is Italy's second most widely dispersed indigenous grape variety. It is a recommended planting in 20 of Italy's 95 provinces and is a permitted or required grape in the red wines of DOCs in Apulia, Molise, Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzi and Tuscany. Among the DOCs that are most noted for Montepulciano are Montepulciano d'Abruzzo in Abruzzi, Offida Rosso DOCG, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno in Marche. Though it is a secondary variety to Uva di Troia in the Castel Del Monte DOC, according to wine expert Jancis Robinson the character that Montepulciano contributes to the blend as perhaps "its finest incarnation".[6]

DOCs and DOCGs

A Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine made from the Montepulciano grape in the Abruzzo region

The following is a list of DOCs and DOCGs that include Montepulciano as a permitted grape variety, along with other grapes that may be included in the blend under varying percentages that are regulated under the DOC/G label. The wines of which Montepulciano must account for a majority of the blend are in bold.[7]

Viticultural Characteristics

Montepulciano D'Abruzzo wine

Montepulciano is late budding (making it an ideal varietal for regions that have late spring frosts) and is late ripening. It is productive (high yielding), deeply colored, firmly structured and widely planted. It has good resistance to botrytis rot and powdery mildew. [8] The grapes tend to be plump with thick skins. However, the skin has a fair amount of pigmented tannins and color producing phenols that with maceration can produce either a deep ruby colored wine or a pink Cerasuolo wine.[6] Compared to most Italian varieties, Montepulciano has moderately low acidity and more mild (i.e. softer) than bitter edged tannins.[4] Wine expert Oz Clarke describes Montepulciano as producing a "round, plummy and weighty red with ripe tannins, good acidity and a low price tag".[9] Jancis Robinson evaluates Montepulciano as a "promising variety" that produces smooth, drinkable wines that can improve for three or four years after vintage. [6]



Various synonyms have been used to describe Montepulciano and its wines, including Cordicso, Cordiscio, Cordisco, Cordisio, Monte Pulciano, Montepulciano Cordesco, Montepulciano di Torre de Passeri, Montepulciano Primatico, Morellone, Premutico, Primaticcio, Primutico, Sangiovese Cardisco, Sangiovese Cordisco, Sangiovetto, Torre dei Passeri, Uva Abruzzese and Uva Abruzzi.[10]

Outside Italy


Montepulciano is also grown in Turkey (Kemalpasa), Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States (California, North Carolina, and Texas).[11][12]

See also



  1. ^ "Montepulciano". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2020-08-05.
  2. ^ J. Robinson Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes p. 112 Oxford University Press 1996. ISBN 0-19-860098-4.
  3. ^ Robinson, J., et al., 2012, "Wine Grapes", pg 654.
  4. ^ a b "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo: A Wonderful Red Wine from the Region of Abruzzo".
  5. ^ Jancis Robinson (ed) The Oxford Companion to Wine Third Edition p. 450 Oxford University Press 2006. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
  6. ^ a b c J. Robinson Vines, Grapes & Wines p. 212 Mitchell Beazley 1986. ISBN 1-85732-999-6.
  7. ^ P. Saunders Wine Label Language pp. 119–215 Firefly Books 2004. ISBN 1-55297-720-X.
  8. ^ Robinson. J, et al., 2012, "Wine Grapes" pg654
  9. ^ Oz Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes p. 139 Harcourt Books 2001. ISBN 0-15-100714-4.
  10. ^ "Montepulciano".
  11. ^ "Italian Grapes, American Tastes: Assessing New World Aglianico and Montepulciano".
  12. ^ "Montepulciano Grape Variety".