There are over 1,000 native grape varieties in Italy, and plenty more that have been imported and planted by Italian winemakers and when it comes to Italian wines, you’re certainly more familiar with Chianti or Pinot Grigio. But Pecorino, the wine not the cheese, could soon become a household name among wine lovers, thanks to its characteristics and widespread appeal.
Pecorino from Abruzzo, you’re probably more familiar with Trebbiano e Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as far as Abruzzo’ s wines, the grape is also grown in Latium and Marche, has all it needs to become one of the most popular Italian white wines and experience a boom like the Pinot Grigio did a decade or so ago. Not only the wine is very versatile and food friendly, it goes well with an array of dishes from seafood to pasta but can also be crispy and fresh making it an ideal wine to sip on its own.
Pecorino is a white grape native of the Marche that spread into the neighbouring Abruzzo. Initially only used in blends with very little surface planted, the grape is now found all over the region and has been enjoying a resurgence in the last decade producing outstanding results with wines of great structure, slowly overtaking Trebbiano d'Abruzzo as the region’s flagship white wine mainly because of its poor reputation. The name Pecorino comes from the fact that sheep (Pecora is the Italian word for sheep and Abruzzo and Marche were regions with an old tradition of sheep farming), loved eating the grape because it is one of the first to ripe.
The Pecorino grape has elected Abruzzo and its different “terroirs”, from the hills just below the Apennines to the Adriatic sea, its home. The grape is grown all over the region, and has proved suitable, similarly to the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, to different wine making processes and styles: from fresh, young to aged, complex and structured wines. If Pecorino wines produced from grapes grown inland have a higher acidity, lower alcohol content and fresher aromas, the ones made from grape grown in vineyards close to the sea tend to be round and richer with higher alcohol content.
Pecorino’s wines from Abruzzo, except for the recently created DOCG Terre Tollesi or Tullum appellation, are all bottled as Pecorino DOC making difficult, if not impossible, for wine lovers and drinkers to be aware of the differences between their styles, however, any Pecorino wine well made is worth drinking. There is a Pecorino wine for everyone, check our selection
The Pecorino, over the last decade has proved to be a fantastic grape for winemakers to work with, giving Abruzzo another chance at producing a world favourite wine, lets hope they will not blew it.