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I cannot tell you how often my mind has wandered back to Abruzzo, Italy since my return to Vancouver on June 10th. Referred to as the ‘greenest region in Europe,’ Abruzzo dazzled, delighted, and enticed me to return as soon as possible.

Located two hours northeast of Rome, Abruzzo was not just a beautiful juxtaposition of the landscape with rugged mountainsides and the Adriatic Sea. No. It was the people and their passion for their wines that leave me craving more.

Knowing my gravitational pull towards rosé wines of the world, is it any wonder that Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC wines stole my heart? Exactly.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a rosato (rosé) wine crafted with the Montepulciano grape. It is the first Italian denomination dedicated to rosé wine. By DOC law, up to 15% of other locally permitted varieties can go into the blend, but Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo wines are most often made with 100% Montepulciano grapes. The DOC of Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo has only existed since 2010. Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore requires higher alcohol by volume level (12.5% vs 12%) and has a more extended maturation time requirement.

But what does ‘Cerasuolo’ mean? Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC gets its name from the brief contact between the grape skins and must (‘cirasce’ is the local dialect for cherry). So, it loosely translates to ‘light cherry red.’ However, the colour of these yummy rosé wines usually runs medium to deep in colour due to the phenolic chemistry of the Montepulciano grape skins.

Most often matured in stainless steel tanks before bottling, the resulting wines remind me of a trifecta of sunshine, sea air, and mountain breezes. Yes, I am a fan.

While in Abruzzo, one of our evenings consisted of a six-course meal paired entirely with Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo wines. Food-wise, sip it alongside antipasti, risotto, white meat, and regional seafood.

I found only one Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo available at the BCLDB stores. Click HERE. Others are available at private liquor stores across the province.

Thank you to The Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini d’Abruzzo for inviting me to be a part of this incredible experience! And, to I.E.E.M. for taking such great care and planning a truly memorable experience.

Be sure to read my follow-up posts on the Percoino and Passerina grapes coming soon!