Pietrantonj is Abruzzo’s Oldest Winery

One thing leads to another.

This is becoming my motto in life, with one additional clarifier. One thing leads to another when you give yourself over to the flow of life and say “Let’s play!” Well, my introduction to Pietrantonj, Abruzzo’s oldest winery, is a prime example of things organically falling into place. First, came my visit to Sulmona and a fulfilled wish to witness my dear friend Novelia crafting her handmade pasta. I was over the moon that Novelia invited me into the kitchen with my camera to capture her artistry. As Novelia and I were plotting our cooking session, the topic of pairing wines worthy of her creations arose. Immediately, Novelia exclaimed, “Pietrantonj, of course!” Then, Novelia made a call to the Pietrantonj family and I was in like flint in short order to have a personal tour and tasting with Alice Pietrantonj, one of the three daughters.

The experience evolved.

I had thought I would show up, have a short tour and tasting, while taking a bit of video, and then be done in less than two hours. Five hours later, after Alice Pietrantonj had given so generously of her time, I was back in the car, pinching myself at my good fortune. I’d experienced so many incredible things: the dramatic landscape in which the vineyards sit, the antique cantina with an ancient oak wine press, a giant barrel from 1893 lined entirely in Murano glass, another barrel, the biggest in Southern Italy, and a leisurely tasting of two special wines from a larger family of wines.

Exceptional quality doesn’t have to mean exceptionally high prices.

I love this about Pietrantonj, as well as many other wineries in Italy. They are dedicated to producing superior quality without putting it out of reach of the average person. Having moved to Italy from Sonoma County, California, I’m no stranger to wines of high quality. I’m also no stranger to having my jaw drop, again and again, at the constantly escalating prices of California wines. No offense to my dear friends in California, but I have a problem with wine becoming so elitist.

Pietrantonj is anything but elitist, but that doesn’t stop them from making amazing wines. I dare say a bottle of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva could compete with California wines that fetch at least four or five times the price.

The Pietrantonj Cerano wines are their flagship wines.

I tasted their Cerasoulo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a bright rosé with excellent structure (and a surprisingly vibrant light cherry color) and their elegant Montepulciano d’Abrusso Riserva. I’m hooked, especially after I sat with Novelia and her family and paired these two wines with two different kinds of handmade pasta (be sure to check out my blog post about Novelia’s handmade fettuccine).

So, I will leave you with this effusive introduction, and take you on a video tour of the Pietrantonj vineyards and winery. I can’t thank Alice Pietrantonj enough for welcoming me so warmly and for allowing me to experience so richly Abruzzo’s oldest winery!

Be sure to visit vinipietrantonj.it for more information. And, if you’re in Sulmona or close by, a visit to the winery is well worth your time!

If you enjoy the following tour of Pietrantonj, and want to see other stories featuring unique experiences in Italy, I hope you’ll subscribe to my YouTube Channel, ItalyWise.

By |2019-01-27T05:09:21+01:00August 9th, 2018|Abruzzo, Drinking in Italy|24 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Melanie Garthwaite August 12, 2018 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Hi Jed,
    Thank you for the video on Pietrantonj.
    I Really enjoyed it and have just looked at it again!
    It brings back memories of a couple of years ago when I was invited with a small group to visit the winery. What a very special place. I was blown away with the history and the dedication and enthusiasm of the family in sharing their heritage with others.
    I will never forget crawling along that little tunnel and the absolute surprise and wonderment of arriving in that huge vat lined with the most beautiful old green murano glass tiles. Just spectacular!!!
    Thank you Jed!

    • Jed August 21, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Melanie, Thanks for writing. I’m happy to know that you’ve experience Pietrantonj first hand. Enthusiasm and dedication are well-chosen adjectives for the family. I can’t wait to go back!

  2. Craig Snively August 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Thank Jed for this video. My wife and I love visiting wineries and meeting the owners, tasting their wines. This is now on our list of visits!

    • Jed August 11, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

      Hi Craig, I’m so pleased this video has piqued your interest in Pietrantonj! Wonderful people and wonderful wines!

  3. Novelia August 10, 2018 at 6:42 am - Reply

    There are so many reasons to be proud of being ABRUZZESE and love Abruzzo, one of them is having in our region, PIETRANTONJ WINERY no doubt about it. The main ingredients that make this cantina so famous are: LOVE AND PASSION, this is the recipe to make the best MONTEPULCIANO. The Pietrantonj sisters Alice and Roberta welcome the visitors and share with them the history of their family, closing with the wine tasting of all that they produce. They make you feel at home like being embraced by a family, because apart from the wine, you will find homemade bread and taste their oil, local cheese, and salami, in a few words an unforgettable experience. Jed like always has captured the essence of this amazing day he spent with Alice. Well done. Until next time, Novelia.

    • Jed August 10, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Grazie, Novelia! I’ve yet to meet Roberta Pietrantonj too, but I understand she, like Alice, is a warm and wonderful host. What I love about the Pietrantonj winery is how humble and kind they are. I love meeting such people who give so much love to their craft and make their delicious products so accessible! Thanks for introducing me to them and arranging such a lovely tour for me! Jed

  4. Kevin August 10, 2018 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Jed, another seriously great video! I mean, eat your heart out stuff! The landscape and Alice….so great…I can totally relate to sitting “in silence” in her favorite vineyard 🙂 Hey, maybe she would like some company? LOL But seriously, I’m sold…really want to try their wine and do just as she said…visit the estate to appreciate the full story of their wine. The balance of your videos, how you come across, and the content combine in a very compelling way! I’m truly impressed! Bravissimo!

    • Jed August 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Kevin! I so appreciate your enthusiasm. More fuel to keep me going with the vlogging additions to ItalyWise. I wish the video could have done greater justice to the beauty of the land and vineyards. They’re substantial but the terrain prevents them from being connected in a way that would make tending to the vines a less daunting task. Still, Pietrantonj constantly rises to the challenge. It is so breathtakingly beautiful there. What a great “office!” When you decide to visit Abruzzo, let me know and I’ll make introductions!

  5. Francesca August 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Wonderful video, as always. A real treat, and gracious of her to speak English for you and us. (even though I’m sure you are fluent by now). We are still working on our visa requirements, an apartment, for living in Sicily…..these videos give me of the way to keep moving through all the stresses and problems. Can’t wait to be sitting in a wonderful little wine bar and celebrating the win. Looking forward to the next adventure.

    • Jed August 10, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Grazie, Francesca! It was a real treat for me to get such a deep look into the history of Pietrantonj. I’m glad to hear that videos like this are fuel to keep you going as you navigate the sometimes daunting logistics of making the move to Sicily. Soon you will be on the other side of all the work!

  6. Marilyn Acquistapace August 9, 2018 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Ooohh, another great video of my favorite area…and winery. Wish I could crawl inside the venetian glass lined barrel. And, nice to see Alice, the whole family is lovely. I believe they have been able to get their wines to the East Coast; I tried to find a distributor for them to get into California, but California is difficult to break into according to my sources.
    Hmmm, I can just taste Novelia’s pasta with some cinghiale sauce and Pietrantonj red wine…… I’d better stop drooling and book a ticket!

    • Jed August 10, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Ciao Marily, I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had the supreme pleasure of meeting the Pietrantonj family and tasting their wines. You make my mouth water when you mention Novelia’s pasta with cinghiale sauce. I’ve not had it, so I’ll add that to my bucket list!!! Thanks for the notes on the availability of the Pietrantonj wines in the U.S. I’m already getting inquiries about where and how to find their wines so I hope to add that as an addendum.

  7. Rich DelSignore August 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply


    Great post! As part of Novelia`s extended family I really appreciate you highlighting Abruzzo!
    Upon my return to Sulmona in the fall I will make sure that I visit this awesome vineyard.

    • Jed August 10, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Rich. Highlighting Abruzzo comes so easily. When people like you and I come to the area, we’re often astonished at this hidden jewel. So many people make a beeline for the “hot spots” and they miss discovering the warmth, beauty, and richness that waits in Abruzzo.

  8. Eloise August 9, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this fabulous vlog/blog. I truly enjoy watching the videos. It is almost like I am there!

    • Jed August 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Eloise, mission accomplished! My goal is to bring Italy up close and personal to lovers of this culture. Your encouragement is so appreciated. I’ll keep plugging away!

  9. Mark Tessicini August 9, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I can not wait to tour the winery and taste Novelia’s cooking!

    • Jed August 9, 2018 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Mark, you’re in for a treat!

  10. Kristen Vituccio Baird August 9, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Love this video, Jed…and so wish I was there with you. Your heart is soaring in Italy!

    • Jed August 9, 2018 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Love seeing your name pop up on in my comments, dear friend! Yes, Italy agrees with me. Btw, this winery is just a short drive from Pacentro, where you have heritage through your dad. How cool is that? Tell him I dined at Cadora ristorante there. Kisses! Jed

  11. Diane Alexander August 9, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    So loved this personal tour Jed and the history behind Cerano wines. I hope I can find Cerano wines here. Cheers my friend 🙂

    • Jed August 9, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Diane! Let me know if you’re able to find a distributor of the Pietrantonj wines. If not, I’ll ask my new friend Alice. Always great to hear from you! Bacioni!

  12. Chip Meeks August 9, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Jed, thanks for sharing another fantastic mini-adventure and informative/inspiring too! (I will now look to so if there are any bottles of this wine imported North to Germany!) Thanks again and have a great rest of your week!

    • Jed August 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Chip, as always for the encouragement. I consider it my mission to “pay back” to Italy by telling the stories of people and places that are so deserving of recognition! Hope you can find the wine up “your way!” Have a great rest of the week!

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