Christmas is over, but with winter well under way here in Abruzzo, snow all around us and freezing temperatures, there is nothing better in the evening than snuggling up in front of the fire with a good glass of Montepulciano and a good book. With this in mind, I thought I’d introduce you to our favourite Valle Peligna vineyard and the superb wine they have to offer.
Pietrantonj. We love this place. Discreetly tucked away in the small hilltop village of Vittorito you really have to search this cantina out, even though it is right in the centre, but believe me it’s worth it. Eight generations of the Pietrantonj family have been making classic Abruzzo wines here – Montepulciano, Cerasuolo and Trebbiano in particular (red, rosé and white respectively) – with records dating as far back as 1791. But there is nothing old and stale about it.
As the eighth generation, Sisters Alice and Roberta Pietrantonj have taken on the family business with zeal and are producing some spectacular, award winning wines. But you know it’s not just the wine that makes this place special, it’s the people and its spirit.
What do we think?
We love a morning/afternoon out to Pietrantonj. You are always sure to be greeted with smiles and an incredible, genuine hospitality…even if you turn up on the hoof (as we often annoyingly do). It makes this Cantina stand out from the bigger Cantinas of Abruzzo. There is no snobbery (good job otherwise they probably wouldn’t let me past the front door!), just a real passion for their work and enthusiasm for the wines they produce, that you cannot help but be consumed by.
What do the kids think?
Luckily for us the kids love it too – a trip down to the Cantina cellar to see the big antique wooden barrels that tower above us, followed by exploring the small Renaissance style (I think!) garden, looking for the fish in the pond and a quick game of hide and seek is the pay off for mum and dad boringly wanting to try and buy wine!
Our favourite wine?
It’s a tough one! The Pecorino (white) is really good at any time of year, but on these dark, cold winter nights it is most definitely the Cerano Riserva that brings a glow to our cheeks. Cheers everyone, Happy New Year!