This extraordinary ancient grape variety is grown throughout the southern half of Italy but is not to be confused with the Vino Nobilo de Montepulciano, a wine from the village by that name in Toscana, because that is made from the Sangiovese grape. The most famous wines from the Montepulciano grape are produced in the provinces of Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia on the Adriatic coast across the Apennines, the region that makes up the DOCG for this grape variety. Here famous wineries like Pepe, Illuminati and Macellaria produce huge, chewy wines pulsating in complex fruit flavours and voluptuous soft tannins characteristic of the variety. Some of these wines from a great vintage have been regarded as better than anything that Bordeaux can produce. The climate on Waiheke Island is not dissimilar from that of the best vineyards in Abruzzo and the grape excels in our terroir. The Jurassic Ridge 2008 Montepulciano was massive and won Gold and Champion Trophy at the Bragato. The 2009 was regarded as outstanding (*****) by Geoff Kelly who also called it 'benchmark Montepulciano'. The 2010 from the 'vintage of a lifetime' on Waiheke Island. has just been released (September 2014) and is our biggest, most concentrated yet. It could well cellar for 15 to 20 years if it gets the chance.