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 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 Central and Southern Italy it is often found in blends but there are many varietal wines as well.

Montepulciano 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 2019 a total of 33 Montepulciano wines were judged. The judges awarded 3 Gold Medals, 5 Silvers and 8  Bronzes.  The Gold medals were won by After Five Wine Company (Purple Hands), Calabria Lonely Vineyard.

  • Alejandro Riverland
  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Amadio Adelaide Hills
  • Artwine Adelaide Hills
  • Atze's Corner Wines Barossa Valley
  • Ballycroft Barossa Valley
  • Banrock Station Riverland
  • Bassham Riverland
  • Beach Road McLaren Vale
  • Bellwether Coonawarra
  • Big Easy Radio McLaren Vale
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Bruno and George Barossa Valley
  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
  • Catlin Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Cirami Estate Riverland
  • Cloudbreak Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Collins and Co Wines Barossa Valley
  • Delinquente Wine Riverland
  • Dell'uva Wines  Barossa Valley
  • Di Giorgio Coonawarra
  • Epsilon Barossa Valley
  • Feathertop Alpine Valleys
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • Five O’Clock Somewhere McLaren Vale
  • Fredercik Stevenson Eden Valley
  • Frederick Stevenson Barossa Valley
  • Galli Estate Heathcote
  • Gracebrook Vineyards King Valley
  • Grand Casino Riverland
  • Hesketh Wines Barossa Valley
  • Hofer Family WInes Langhorne Creek
  • Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale
  • Kimbolton Langhorne Creek
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • La Fattoria Perth Hills
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Lion Mill Vineyards Perth Hills
  • Lonely Vineyard Eden Valley
  • Matriarch and Rogue Clare Valley
  • Mr Riggs Wine Company McLaren Vale
  • Mundoo Ridge Riverland
  • Next Crop Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Noble Road Clare Valley
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Peter Drayton Wines Hunter Valley
  • Pindarie Wines Barossa Valley
  • Pirate Cru Barossa Valley
  • Purple Hands Wines Barossa Valley
  • Red Feet King Valley
  • Ricca Terra Riverland
  • Ringer Reef Winery Alpine Valleys
  • Robert Stein Mudgee
  • Rolf Binder Barossa Valley
  • Salena Estate Riverland
  • Saltram Barossa Valley
  • Savina Lane Granite Belt
  • SC Pannell McLaren Vale
  • Scarpantoni Estate McLaren Vale
  • Scott and La Prova Adelaide Hills
  • Serafino Wines McLaren Vale
  • Sirromet Granite Belt
  • Smidge Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Springton Hills Eden Valley
  • Susuro Adelaide Hills
  • Symphony Hill Wines Granite Belt
  • Taylors Clare Valley
  • Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains
  • The Overflow Queensland Zone
  • Tscharke Barossa Valley
  • Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills
  • Wangolina Station Mount Benson
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Whistling Kite Riverland
  • Woodstock McLaren Vale
Updated 21 April 2020

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Friesa | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Nero Di Troia | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel
One of the best books about Italian wine grape varieties is Ian d'Agata's Native Wine Grapes of Italy

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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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