Pecorino is the Riesling of the Adriatic, some tasters say. And there is some truth in this. Here are the versions of Codice Citra

Codice Citra, wines from Abruzzo

Codice Citra is one of the most important names in the Abruzzo wine scene. Founded in 1973, it is a second-level cooperative bringing together nine companies in the Chieti province (in the municipalities of Pollutri, Rocca San Giovanni, Lanciano, Ortona, Paglieta, Crecchia, Torrevecchia Teatina and Tollo). Today it stands among the major national wineries, with 18 million bottles produced from a 6,000-hectare vineyard, cultivated by about 3,000 members. The technical staff, supervised by Riccardo Cotarella, transforms the grapes into a wide range of wines, starting from those intended for daily consumption, as well as ambitious selections, especially based on montepulciano, trebbiano and pecorino. Describing the extensive territory on which the vineyards are located is not easy but Valentino Di Campli, President of the company summarised as follows: “We are lucky enough to see our grapes grow, located above all in the coastal hilly area, surrounded by the most important massifs of the Apennines, Maiella and Gran Sasso, and from the Adriatic Sea.

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If we think that, over a span of 40 km, we pass from almost 3,000 meters of altitude to sea level, Abruzzo can rightfully be considered a small continent. All this is then enriched by vast biodiversity and by the possibility of “exploiting” unique terroirs and different microclimates.” With its 3.5 million hectoliters of wine produced, Abruzzo represents 7% of the national output, but despite this, the region still does not see its “wine” weight assert itself as it should. President Di Campli’s recipe to heal this problem also includes tourist enhancement of the territory: “I believe that making our landscape, naturalistic and historical beauties known is a fundamental strength in contributing to the promotion of our wines. For this reason, the Consortium for the Protection of Abruzzo Wines has created “Percorsi,” an online platform that allows to discover Abruzzo through topic itineraries connected to tourist routes that combine the regional cultural, artistic and natural attractions with the welcome received at Abruzzo wineries. The site is our innovative business card.”

The new project

Lately the Codice Citra brand has was also joined by the Codice Vino brand, a new project, in which top professionals in Italy participate to enhance the strength and richness of corporate cooperation: “It’s a way to communicate the territorial strength and richness of ​​Abruzzo and to see the quality of our large cooperative structures’ productions recognised. Thanks to an artisanal, boutique approach, in which the vineyards are identified one by one, the vinification is scrupulously carried out, combining on the one hand the best technological innovations and on the other the “human factor,” that is the “labourers” of local winemakers, oenologists and agronomists of all the associated wineries. True teamwork, immense and with attention to every detail, born under the oenological guidance of Riccardo Cotarella and the agronomic studies conducted by Prof. Attilio Scienza.” Three years ago, 120 hectares were selected from which individual vinifications were made, capable of best expressing the territoriality and specificity of each vineyard.

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And the results are already visible with the Abruzzo Pecorino Superiore Tegèo ’18 which won the Tre Bicchieri recognition in the Vini d’Italia 2021 guide, thanks to its warm aromatic profile full of yellow fruits and white flowers, and a dense and enveloping mouth, but at the same time fresh and crisp. As for the Codice Citra wines we truly appreciated the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Teate Ferzo Riserva ’16, which smells of ripe blackberries and plums on a powerful and voluminous palate. If moving away from pairings with local recipes, we see it well with stuffed turkey, or a juicy burger. As far as the whites, the Pecorino Superiore Ferzo ’19 seemed excellent, intense in the olfactory profile of apricot, lemon pulp and lime blossom, while juicy and dense on the palate: “with its good structure and persistence, the mineral and floral notes it’s the ideal companion for dishes made with on fish from the Adriatic but also for sushi or sashimi.”

by William Pregentelli