Montepulciano is a red wine grape variety grown widely in central Italy, most notably its eastern Abruzzo, Marche and Molise regions. The variety was named after the Tuscan parish of Montepulciano, but, confusingly, is not used in the famous wines produced there (see Vino Nobile di Montepulciano).
Globally appreciated for their soft flavors, strong color and gentle tannins, Montepulciano wines are typically best consumed in their youth and with food. The deep purple juice of Montepulciano grapes is used in varying proportions to produce wines under roughly 50 of Italy’s DOC and DOCG titles. Although sometimes used on its own, it also responds well to blending with other varieties, most successfully Sangiovese – its close relative and Italy’s most widely planted grape variety.