According to the United Nations, Italy is the world’s leading wine producers, famous for the likes of Barolo, Amarone and Brunello. A good Brunello often sells for a hundred dollars. But don’t worry. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy good Italian wine. South of Tuscany lies the region of Abruzzo. A region that is often underappreciated, which is a pity because I’m certain that Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of Italy’s true gems. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is an Italian DOC wine made with Montepulciano grapes. It’s important not to confuse the Tuscan city Montepulciano with the grape Montepulciano. They two only share their name – nothing more.
Last summer, I visited a few wineries in Abruzzo. One of them was Agriverde where I stayed a few nights. Agriverde is one of Abruzzo’s most reputable wineries. Their wines have won countless prizes from national and international wine critics like Meilleur Jeune and the Gambero Rosso.
But Agriverde is much more than just a winery – it’s a hotel, restaurant and a wellness center. Take a look.
The best way to reach Agriverde is by car. From Rome it’s around a two and a half hour drive. And believe me, if you are in Italy then you have to visit Agriverde. Put it on the top of your to-do things. You won’t regret it!
My wife and I dined a couple of times at their restaurant, Realis del Vino. Since we believe that wine is best paired with local food, Realis del Vino was perfect for me. Not only were we able to try all the outstanding wines from Agriverde, we also were lucky to try some of the best food that we’ve eaten during our vacation and best of all, it’s not expensive at all! You can get a bottle of 2000 Plateo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for just €40! That’s around what the wine retails in wine shops.
Prices for rooms depend on the season. A double room costs during high season €100 per night.
Let’s talk wine
Now that you know how beautiful the Agriverde estate is, I want to introduce to you to two of their wines. My all-time favorite is Agriverde’s Plateo. An incredible wine, produced with Montepulciano grapes. The wine ages 2 years in oak, 2 years in stainless and additional 2 years in the bottle. Here are my tasting notes for the 2000 Plateo:
The wine has a dark ruby red color. I expected something more similar to a garnet red. The nose has intense aromas of vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, cardamon, ripe cherry and blackcurrant. Full-bodied and well-balanced. Intense fruit notes but also dark chocolate on the palate. Lingering finish. I love this wine!
Sloarea is cheaper but not as good as the Plateo. The wine is, just like the Plateo, produced with Montepulciano grapes but it aged “only” 18 months in French oak, 18 months in stainless steel and 18 months in the bottle.
Solarea has an intense ruby red color. Red cherries, tobacco, wild berries, cinnamon, and roasted coffee on the nose. The palate was dry and warm. I tasted blackcurrant and dark chocolate. Solarea was of medium body. The finish was not as long as I hoped it would be but it was still pleasing
Sightseeing in Abruzzo
Abruzzo is a great travel destination. A region with lots of culture and great places to visit. When in Abruzzo, you have to visit Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte is a small medieval town in the Gran Sasso National Park. The town was named as one of the most beautiful towns of Italy in 2006 and I completely agree! The town, the nature, everything in Castel del Monte is beautiful. It’s a must-visit!
Castel del Monte is just one of many medieval towns in Abruzzo that are worth visiting. It is said, that the region holds some of Italy’s best preserved medieval towns.
One third of Abruzzo is designated as national park, which means that the region has an incredible flora and fauna.
Chieti and Pescara, tow of Abruzzo’s larger cities are worth visiting as well. Pescara is located at the Mediterranean Sea and was one of my favorite travel destinations in Abruzzo.
Photo Credits: Castel Del Monte by Bob with a CC 2.0 license. All other images are from Agriverde.
About the author
Editor’s note: Do you want to be one of our next guest authors? All you need to know about guest posting on Vino in Love can be found here including a list of all previous guest posts. I had the chance to visit Agriverde a few years ago and just like Frank I enjoy their wines and I love the Plateo. The Plateo is one of the very best wines that I have had ever.