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Montepulciano Red Wine Variety in Australia 

This variety is not taken all that seriously in Italy, but it is set for a superstar role in Australia.

Montepulciano wine variety in Australia

Montepulciano is a red wine grape variety originating in Italy and now being used by a small number of winemakers in Australia. After Sangiovese it is the second most planted variety in Italy.

A widespread and old grape variety often has many synonyms. All of the following are listed in Wikipedia: Cordicso, Cordiscio, Cordisco, Cordisio, Monte Pulciano, Montepulciano Cordesco, Montepulciano di Torre de Passeri, Montepulciano Primatico, Morellone, Premutico, Primaticcio, Primutico, Sangiovese Cardisco, Sangiovese Cordisco, Sangiovetto, Torre dei Passeri, Uva Abruzzese and Uva Abruzzi.

First let's clear up some confusion about the name.

Montepulciano is the name of both a grape variety and a town in Tuscany. This can cause problems as the wine and the town are not connected.

There is a red wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which is in fact made from the Sangiovese grape variety around the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany.

The grape variety Montepulciano is planted over much of Central and Southern Italy. This variety ripens late in the season and is thus unsuitable for the cooler northern regions of Italy.

Montepulciano the grape variety has its most noteworthy expression is in the wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzi from the mountainous region of Abruzzi on the Adriatic coast of Central Italy.  Elsewhere in Italy it is often found in blends but there are may varietal wines as well.

Montepulciano in Australia In Australia

Until a decade ago there were virtually no plantings of Montepulciano in Australia. Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera were the Italian red wine varieties attracting the most attention from growers and winemakers.

It is quickly emerging as a very suitable variety for warmer Australian areas and is gaining recognition at regional and specialist wine shows.

prize winning Montes

At the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) in 2016 a total of thirty Montepulciano wines were entered. The judges awarded five Gold Medals, one Silver and three Bronzes.

These wines won Gold medals 


  • 2015 Banrock Station
  • 2015 Brown Brothers Cellar Door Release
  • 2014 Cirami Estate
  • 2014 Kirrihill Mount Lofty Montepulciano
  • 2015 Saltram Wine Estate
  • Alex Russell Wines Riverland
  • Amadio Adelaide Hills
  • Amato Vino Margaret River
  • Artwine Adelaide Hills
  • Atze's Corner Wines Barossa Valley
  • Banrock Station Riverland
  • Bassham Riverland
  • Bellwether Coonawarra
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
  • Catlin Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Cirami Estate Riverland
  • Deliquente Wine C Riverland
  • Dell'uva Wines  Barossa Valley
  • Epsilon Barossa Valley
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • Five o’Clock Project McLaren Vale
  • Galli Estate Heathcote
  • Grand Casino Riverland
  • Hesketh Wines Barossa Valley
  • Kimbolton Langhorne Creek
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • Lonely Vineyard Eden Valley
  • Mr Riggs Wine Company McLaren Vale
  • Next Crop Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Purple Hands Wines Barossa Valley
  • Red Feet King Valley
  • Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys
  • Rolf Binder Barossa Valley
  • Salena Estate Riverland
  • Savina Lane Granite Belt
  • Springton Hills Eden Valley
  • Taylors Clare Valley
  • Tscharke Barossa Valley
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Whistling Kite Riverland
  • Woodstock McLaren Vale

Learn More about Grape varieties

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal TableDe Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz

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Monte and food

Italian wines made with this variety are often light to medium bodied and are suitable for the Italian standby foods of pizza and pasta, especially with tomato based sauces.

A few Italian wines and many Australian wines are more substantial with firmer tannins.  These are more enjoyable paired with heartier meat dishes, game sausages and the like.

Daring pairing book on alternative winesClick image for details of this book

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