The dark and ample grape from the warmer regions of the Adriatic. In the Marche region it is said, by the locals of course, that their clone of the grape is different, if not a different grape entirely, from the one heavily grown in Abruzzo. This point of view does not scientifically pan out, but there is a noticeable difference. The results can be more likely attributed to the usual suspects: soils and microclimates. Marche makes their most important Montepulciano in Conero, an geological anomoly where limestone cliffs leap out of the Adriatic Sea. In Abruzzo it is more calcareous clay reaching from the Apeninne foothills to the coast and the results are often more voluptuos and ripe. It is also one of those grapes we are amazed we don’t see more of here in the US. It has so many great qualities; high yields, disease resistant, loves warmer weather… it seems a no brainer for California. (For more on that rant, gripe and hope for the future, please see our Rebel Grape Society Club.)

*Abruzzo: Torre dei Beati / Cirelli / Marina Cvetic

*Marche: Le Terrazze / Lanari / Moroder