There are some really excellent wines being produced in the Abruzzo region. I took the opportunity to visit a couple of the best with one of the owners of Bar Centrale, Danilo, who is a qualified sommelier; wines are his passion and he is often away travelling to a wine fairs in some distant part of the country. He gave up his one afternoon off a week to show me around two of his favourites.
And a most pleasant afternoon it turned out to be.
Both wineries were only a little over a 30 minute drive from Penne. Each visit took well over an hour with an interesting tour of both wineries - with staff who spoke good English - followed by an unhurried tasting: 6 wines in the first and 5 in the second. I was feeling more than mellow by the end!
What is so typical in this region of Italy is the lack of any sense of commerciality: no money was asked for and they gave their time willingly, with a great pride in what they produced. Danilo had told me when we set off that they might ask for a few euros per head but thought it unlikely.
To top off a great day out another friend, a licenced truffle hunter, told me that the new season for a particular truffle had just started. This is what he collected in one day – and he gave me a generous portion to enjoy with my son who was out with me.
Marchesi De Cordano
A small producer at 200,000 bottles a year but with a modern infrastructure and focus on increasing quality rather than quantity. They only use grapes from their own estate. Wines are from 9 euros upward to 25 euros. The Trinita (Montepulciano) at about 15 euros is outstanding value and their reserve, Santinumi is excellent but I was more than happy with the somewhat cheaper Trinita. For whites: the Cococciola – bottled as Brilla at 9 euros - was outstanding. They are also well known for an excellent spumante, Santaguista which is their most expensive bottle at 25 euros. They were bemoaning the fact that Prosecco has become such an international phenomena, whilst spumante, produced in the same way as champagne with secondary fermentation in the bottle, is undervalued.
Marchesi De Cordano, C.da Cordano, 4365014 Loreto Aprutino, cordano.it
A little bigger (600,000 bottles) and slightly more old fashioned. Another in the mid-range in terms of quality and price. One that I like a lot, not their best, but very intriguing was a young fresh wine that is drunk cold, also the cheapest at about 7 euros – Il Grappolo.
About 70-80% of their wines are exported, a lot to North America which says something for the growing reputation of the region for quality wines.
Contrada Casali, 147 65010 Nocciano, Bosco, nestorebosco.it
Our website has been updated with details of both and I can thoroughly recommend a visit to either, although I preffered Marchesi di Cordano. For guests staying at Casa del Colle we are happy to book you in for a tour and a tasting.