Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
The label quotes the Roman poet Virgil “Denique apertos Baccus amat colles”: Bacchus loves the open hills. Fairly appropriate given that Abruzzo is 65% mountains and and blessed with the Montepulciano grape.
Cornacchia is an historic estate with its roots in the 17th century. Today it is run by Filippo and Caterina Cornacchia, a young brother and sister team who have brought new energy and vision to the winery. They recently completed the conversion to certified organic viticulture. They currently bottle about one third of the crop, selling the rest off in bulk. With a grape as prolific as Montepulciano, it is very important that yields, through special selection in the vineyard, are kept to a minimum.
The estate comprises 74 acres in the Teramo province in the Northeastern corner of Abruzzo which is protected by the Grand Sasso range (9,560 feet) to the North and West and the Maiella range to the South. From the East the vineyards are exposed to the moderating sea breezes from the Adriatic. It is considered to be one of the finest regions in Abruzzo. It was recently awarded the DOCG to set it apart from the plains-produced Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
The terrain is calcareous clay, rich in lime and iron and the vineyards tend to produce wines that are bigger in everything – tannins, alcohol, body and color. With scrupulous vineyard management this bounty makes wines that transmit generosity while remaining elegant and fresh.
Cornacchia has received much acclaim from Gambero Rosso, Veronelli, Robert Parker, Decanter and the Wine Spectator. Their wines are proof of the heights to which the Montepulciano grape can reach.