Vino Cotto

making special wine in abruzzo

This Sweet Wine, called ‘Vino Cotto’, literally cooked wine is the result of reducing the must of specific local grapes. Vino Cotto originates from the Abruzzo region, principally within the Teramo province (for evidence check the Fun fact section below). However, it is found also in other regions of Italy, such as the Marche, Molise and even Sicily. Each Vino Cotto from the different localities differs in methods of preparation.

cooked wine preparation

Today we will talk about the original and most ancient stated version of making Vino Cotto, the one produced on the hills of Teramo, in the Abruzzo Region.

ancient cooked wine preparation abruzzo

In Abruzzo, the Vino Cotto is produced by reducing to a third the must from the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo grapes in a copper pot over a wood-fired flame. The Must is simmered for around 9 hours, then blended with other raw must to allow fermentation. The last step consists in blending the new produced Vino Cotto with different vintages of 50 or more years old. Following the same process as the balsamic vinegar. The older the Vino Cotto is, the creamier, sweeter and better will be.

ancient oven for cooking wine

ancient oven for cooking wine


The Tradition

vino cotto cooked wine abruzzo

In the Teramo province in Abruzzo, this sweet wine, is also called ‘Lu Bambinell’ or simply the baby. The tradition wants that a barrel of Vino Cotto is produced for the new born and then stored until he/she would get married. As a result of the many people that never got married, we now have some very old Vino Cotto. Secretly stored in the medieval cellars of old locals. Vino Cotto is said to have more value than gold…as a result of the different bandits’ attacks Italy received in the history, farmers have walled up or buried bottles and casks of the precious Vino Cotto. During the years last 30 years many rests of these old wines have been found around Abruzzo.

Tasting Notes & Serving

potatoes donuts from abruzzo

potatoes donuts from abruzzo

Bursting with honey, caramel, spices and ripe fruit. Best served with Cantucci (almond biscuits), chocolate and coffee desserts. The more it ages, the creamier  and the better is. Ageing and blend with older ‘Vino Cotto’ can date back to 1800.

Funfact – Did you know?

hannibal in italy history

Did you know that during the 216BC Hannibal during his invasion to Italy, he passed through Abruzzo. Above its beauties, he founds the cure for its elephants and soldiers. The cure was the Vino Cotto, a 50y aged sweet wine from Abruzzo.

Do you want to savour a 50y old Vino Cotto?

grape harvesting abruzzo

grape harvesting abruzzo

Discover how the Abruzzese Vino Cotto is produced!! Join the ‘Vendemmia’ or grape harvest in Abruzzo and make your own wine!

Discover the hidden mysteries of wine, visit a winemaker during the grape harvest season!

Get more information

With Amore From

Marino Cardelli
Abruzzo, Italy
Marino Cardelli

Marino Cardelli

Food & Wine Enthusiast, 2nd level Qualified Wine Sommelier, Licensed Tour Leader of the Abruzzo Region, Official Abruzzo Smart Ambassador. I try to create environments & opportunities for Abruzzo's small business, young people and our traditions to thrive through sustainable tourism.

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