Montepulciano, known to us Aussies simply as ‘Monte’, is a red grape variety that produces wines oozing with complex flavours. Expect wines that burst with red fruits such as raspberries, cranberries and wild cherries. Don’t be surprised to find herbal and savoury notes in Montepulciano wines, too, with slightly peppery finishes.
Where is Montepulciano grown?
Montepulciano is a versatile grape; it is thick-skinned, disease resistant and can grow in cool and warm climates. Despite this, the grape is just starting to make ground outside its home region of Abruzzo in Italy. The grape grows in small quantities in Australia, USA and Argentina.
Montepulciano grapes ripen late, so it thrives in Australia’s warm and dry climates.
Australian regions growing Montepulciano include:
Montepulciano wine style and character
Montepulciano is a dark-skinned grape that produces deeply coloured red wines that are typically medium-bodied and dry.
Our best Montepulciano wines
The wines made with Montepulciano grapes are known for their dominant red fruit flavours.
Typical tasting notes include sour cherries, plums and cranberry. It’s not uncommon for Montepulciano wines to have savoury and herby tones, such as oregano, tobacco and dried thyme.
Montepulciano wines have an intense fruitiness that’s a natural match for similarly intense and rich foods.
It’s best to avoid light and delicate dishes such as white fish, seafood and salads when pairing with Montepulciano wines. Highly spiced food should also be avoided as it can make the wine taste bitter.
Montepulciano wines are an excellent match for popular Italian dishes such as lasagne, pizza, and other tomato-based dishes. They’re perfect with smoked or barbecued meats, especially when coated in herbs such as basil, thyme or sage.
How to serve
Wines made with Montepulciano grapes are best served between 15-20°C. Try serving Montepulciano wines in an oversized glass; it will taste smoother and more flavoursome.