Winemaking in Abruzzo dates back to the Classical Age of the 600s B.C. when the Etruscans brought the art of viniculture with them from Tuscany. They revolutionized grape growing by training the vines to grow on elm trees to maximize yield. When the Greeks ruled the world, they were astonished at this procedure and named Italy Enotria, "the land of staked vines."
Abruzzo's mountains and forests are not inducive to the production of wine grapes. But, in the areas which are, the soil and climate is perfect. It lies on the Adriatic Coast of Italy where the moderating influences are nothing less than sublime. Citra is a co-op composed of small, family-owned properties some of which farm just two acres. Forming a co-op was the only thing to do to assure any income at all for many of them. Two grapes dominate here, Montepulciano and Trebbiano, which is why we chose a Chardonnay. While we love, and have featured, Montepulciano and Trebbiano in the past, we were so struck by this selection that had to show it off to our members.
At first, we were amazed by the clean, fresh flavors of this wine. No oak treatment allowed all the subtle green apple and orange blossom components to take center stage and dominate the experience. The opulent waves of shy essences from Asian pear to peach and guava was a revelation to behold, let alone adorn your palate. This lovely renegade from Abruzzo would shine with all comers from a seafood salad to seared ahi.