To produce the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC Gran Sasso the grapes were hand picked. On arrival at the winery, the fruit was destemmed and crushed, before a cold maceration for four days. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled, stainless steel and concrete tanks at temperatures of 24-26°C and lasted for 10 days. Continuous racking and punch-downs were performed to optimize extraction of flavours from the skins. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, which softened the acidity and added complexity to the final wine.
Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Valentino and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
The Gran Sasso wines are made by Valentino Sciotti and his team. Rino Santeusanio and Francesco De Santis are the winemakers, with Alberto Antonini acting as consultant. Together, they ensure that the wines have a freshness and vivacity that sets them apart from many in this area. The team work closely with their growers to produce a deep-coloured, clean and plummy young Montepulciano, as well as their ‘riserva’ style ‘Alta Quota’ Montepulciano d‘Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG which is from a zone in the northern part of Abruzzo that is renowned for the quality of its wine. The Trebbiano grapes are grown in the cooler areas of the Apennine foothills and fermented at low temperatures. The Pecorino is apparently named after the resemblance that the bunch of grapes bears to a sheep’s head. A relatively rare variety, there are only 300 hectares planted in Abruzzo and Le Marche.