Abruzzo got its own IGT

The Italian National Wine Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture agreed on Friday to group wines from Italy’s central region under a single IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), Terre d’Abruzzo.

For the entire region, this new status creates an opportunity to promote Abruzzo wines. Valentino di Campli, president of the Abruzzo Wine Protection Consortium, said the move would help increase “recognition of superior quality and…a common identity”. It is, in the words of di Campli, to create “a strong regional image”. Indeed, Abruzzo is already known beyond Italy for its production of Montepulciano and Pecorino, but this move marks a stronger focus on the region, rather than the wine provinces. This is not without precedent: in 2011, Sicily falls under “Terre Siciliane”.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was established as a DOC in the 1960s, and the Hill Teramane DOCG was recognized almost twenty years ago. However, this decision allows the use of “Superior” on the label of the latter as a means of differentiation of this wine province. Wines from the four approved provinces will be subject to more stringent production standards, as well as provincial constraints.

Prior to the ruling, Abruzzo contained eight separate IGTs, now under the regional umbrella. Colline Teramane has been authorized to use “Riserva” for wines that meet the criteria of a minimum of two years of aging and a certain degree of alcohol. Under these new rules, Terre di Chieti, Terre de l’Aquila and Colline Pescaresi will also be allowed to use the term.

This change to the status quo was first suggested in 2019 and was strongly supported by the Protection Consortium, whose sole objective is to “defend the quality of Abruzzo wines”. For a consumer, the IGT status can only be seen on the label, but the decision will lead to a long-term change in the region’s winemaking. Regional Vice-President Emanuele Imprudente celebrated the move, saying it would “enhance Abruzzo wine by enhancing the different territories and the extraordinary biodiversity” of the region. Although the emphasis is on regional unity, the hope is that it will diversify Abruzzese viticulture.

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