Montonico Grape

Italy

Abruzzo

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Wines and grape varietals

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Montonico Grape

Few people have heard of Montonico, but the grape variety has a long, significant history. One source dating from 1615, from the Catasto Onciario, shows that a variety with that name was already being grown around Bisenti, near Teramo at that time. During the centuries, it was often cited as a very productive variety and good for eating. In fact it was always better known as a table grape than as a variety for wine.
Until the 1960s, Montonico was widespread throughout Abruzzo, but then its cultivation area began to shrink and it is now found almost exclusively around Bisenti and Cermignano, which is where it was mostly cultivated in the past as well. Over time it adapted well to the territory close to the Gran Sasso, and grows even over 500 meters above sea level. In fact it is a very vigorous vine, which thanks to its innate gift for adaptation has found its true identity here in this corner of the world. The local adversities (cold winters and hard, pebbly, chalky soil) give the grapes their typical sensory characteristics.
The variety has a large, elongated bunch, with an almost cylindrical shape, and the berries are large and round with a thick, greenish-yellow skin. The variety has a good tolerance to botrytis attacks and has plenty of pulp; the must obtained from pressing the grapes is pale straw-yellow, tending towards green, with a fresh, floral nose.
The grapes ripen at the end of October and stand up well to drying. Traditionally they were eaten fresh or raisined, or made into wine or vinegar. For centuries the variety was an important source of sustenance and income for the population of this poor, mountainous zone on the slopes of Gran Sasso. These days little production remains. The local vineyards are increasingly being abandoned and the little Montonico still grown is used as a table grape or tied, bunch by bunch, and hung from the beams of the house and left to dry until the Christmas period, when they begin to be eaten. Wine production, once flourishing, is now practiced at a professional level by only three winemakers, due to a lack of grapes and little investment in machinery and premises.

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Season

Montonico grapes are harvested at the end of October.

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After risking extinction in recent decades, Montonico is now grown mostly in family-run plots. The local people continue to celebrate it at the local grape and wine festival, held in October in the historic center of Bisenti. Floats showing rural scenes linked to the grape harvest parade through the streets. Thanks to the Presidium, a few young producers want to revive its cultivation and restore the abandoned vineyards, promoting the variety as a grape for eating, raisins, winemaking and vinegar. The first step was to restore the old family vineyards and those no longer tended by the older generations and to replant other areas so as to have more grapes for selling and processing in the future. The producers have undertaken to respect a production protocol that guarantees that the grapes are grown in an environmentally sustainable way and without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Production area
Bisenti and Cermignano municipalities (Poggio delle Rose hamlet), Teramo province


Presidium supported by
Gal leader Teramano
Ciccone di Matteo Ciccone
Bisenti (Te)
Loc. Chioviano Basso, 38
Tel. +39 340 5537497
info@aziendaagricolaciccone.it
www.aziendaagricolaciccone.it
Agriturismo Domus 
di Rosa Narcisi
Contrada Collemarmo
Bisenti (Te)
tel. +39 0861 997409
agr.domus@libero.it

Francesca Valente
Contrada Chioviano I
Bisenti (Te)
tel. +39 342 6678377
info@agricolavalente.com
www.agricolavalente.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Marcella Cipriani
tel. +39 329 2744317
marcipriani@hotmail.com

Producers’ Coordinator
Francesca Valente
tel. +39 342 6678377
info@agricolavalente.com
After risking extinction in recent decades, Montonico is now grown mostly in family-run plots. The local people continue to celebrate it at the local grape and wine festival, held in October in the historic center of Bisenti. Floats showing rural scenes linked to the grape harvest parade through the streets. Thanks to the Presidium, a few young producers want to revive its cultivation and restore the abandoned vineyards, promoting the variety as a grape for eating, raisins, winemaking and vinegar. The first step was to restore the old family vineyards and those no longer tended by the older generations and to replant other areas so as to have more grapes for selling and processing in the future. The producers have undertaken to respect a production protocol that guarantees that the grapes are grown in an environmentally sustainable way and without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Production area
Bisenti and Cermignano municipalities (Poggio delle Rose hamlet), Teramo province


Presidium supported by
Gal leader Teramano
Ciccone di Matteo Ciccone
Bisenti (Te)
Loc. Chioviano Basso, 38
Tel. +39 340 5537497
info@aziendaagricolaciccone.it
www.aziendaagricolaciccone.it
Agriturismo Domus 
di Rosa Narcisi
Contrada Collemarmo
Bisenti (Te)
tel. +39 0861 997409
agr.domus@libero.it

Francesca Valente
Contrada Chioviano I
Bisenti (Te)
tel. +39 342 6678377
info@agricolavalente.com
www.agricolavalente.com
Slow Food Coordinator
Marcella Cipriani
tel. +39 329 2744317
marcipriani@hotmail.com

Producers’ Coordinator
Francesca Valente
tel. +39 342 6678377
info@agricolavalente.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionAbruzzo