An important Italian red grape variety extensively grown in Central and Eastern Italy. Confusingly it has no connection with the Tuscan town of Montepulciano, nor the Sangiovese based Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which is produced there. It is adaptable to most soils and is a high yielding and late ripening grape. It is extensively planted in the Abruzzi district and perhaps Montepulciano d`Abruzzo is its most famous incarnation. In the Marche region it is blended with Sangiovese to produce Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno.
It normally produces light to medium bodied fruit driven wines, often low in tannins and acidity and which are usually best drunk young. However there are a handful of producers who produce 100% Montepulciano wines from low yielding old vines which are then oak aged and which will continue improving in bottle for 10 years or more.