Like other regions in Southern Italy, Abruzzo, except for a relatively few intrepid souls, has yet to be "discovered" by English-speaking travelers. That is changing, as new highways, linking Abruzzo's principal cities to Rome, Bari, and the cities of the Marches, Umbria and other points north have penetrated the region and made it more accessible. Word of Abruzzo's abundant cultural, geographical, natural, architectural, and culinary riches is now reaching the "outside" world. <p> As in Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata and Campania, in Abruzzo you will find an Italy quite out of synch with the sophisticated northern cities. It is an "old Italy" slowly moving into the modern era. There are wolves, bears and cougars at large in the mountains; shepherds mind their flocks as in time immemorial; castles and monasteries stand on precipices guarding or protecting, as the case may be, valley passes and vast tracks of empty land. It is charming, curious, interesting and compelling all at once, but also perhaps, a bit slow, and sometimes frustrating to people used to a faster paced life.</p>
Abruzzo’s sunny hills lend it perfectly to the cultivation of many of Italy’s noble varietals. Sangiovese is second to Montepulciano and is blended more often than not. Popular vines of the past include Campolese, Cococciola and Mantonico. Moscato was popular for sweet wines in earlier centuries but today is not approved in the region. Experimentation is currently underway with Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Riesling.