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 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.