Abruzzo Italy, a region on the rise

Nun’s naughty bits, a wine that’s not a cheese, wine boxes that aren’t square and vino that flows from a drinking fountain, Nick finds Abruzzo is an Italian region that’s full of surprises.

“They’re called ‘Nun’s’ Breasts’, “Sise delle Monache”, says Valentina di Camillo unveiling a tray of freshly made pastries in the garden overlooking her family’s vineyards. The origins of the pastry’s name are vague, they were first called ‘Three Mountains’ owing to their triple peaks but the new name came about when a nun… well, let’s leave it there.The cakes are unique; only made in this particular part of Abruzzo and the wines that Valentina and her brother Luigi manage and market at Tenuta I Fauri  wines are special too.

Of course I drink lot of her excellent Montepulciano (not to be confused with the town of Montepulciano in Siena), but also a lesser known Abruzzo white wine called Pecorino.

When I first heard this mentioned, I assumed someone was talking about cheese. Pecorino is the slightly cheaper cousin of Parmesan but a wine called Pecorino?Valentina tells me that the Italian word for sheep is pecora. When the sheep descended each year from the mountain to the coast, they’d eat these grapes on the way down.


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