Azienda Agricola Cirelli is a 23- hectare organic farm situated near the Gran Sasso National Park in Abruzzo. This park has one of the highest peaks in Italy’s Apennine Mountains, with an active glacier.  In 2003, Francesco Cirelli purchased land in this remote area after earning a university degree economics. His dream was to create a biodiversity-focused farm that captured the essence of Abruzzo.  Here one will find olive trees and fig trees, grapevines and free-roaming sheep and black pigs. It’s feels far from everywhere, but it’s close to the heart and soul of what makes Abruzzo a fascinating place to visit, a region of mountains and sea.

View from Cirelli

View from Cirelli (Photo: Melanie Young)

Cirelli started as a garagiste winemaker with a goal to make organic wines from native grapes using amphorae. Visiting Cirelli we saw different sizes and styles of amphorae which Cirelli utilizes with native yeasts and spontaneous fermentation, to- in his words- “help us express the purity of the wine….Amphora helps balance and moderate the tannins to make wines drinkable sooner,” Cirelli told us during our visit to the winery.



Buried amphorae

Buried amphorae


“Soulful” us how we would describe Cirelli’s wines and personality. The amphora Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Pecorino d’Abruzzo have softer texture to them with more minerality. Cirelli told us Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, the region’s signature red variety is “like a mustang- powerful and muscular and in need of taming to manage its acidity.” His Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes undergo shorter maceration, 12 days versus the average 18 to 20. This red has concentrated notes of blackberry and blueberry and moderate tannins.


Cirelli amphora series


Cirelli told us the Abruzzo’s signature DOC Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, a darker style of rosé, was “the wine of the poor, the last press of juice they would drink after completing their work.” Cirelli’s style has a soft garnet hue with blue undertones and a wild strawberry and herbal notes on the palate. Throughout our visit to Abruzzo we tasted many styles of Cerasulo d’Abruzzo and feel more attention should be paid to these gastronomic rosés.

Tenuta Cirelli is located in Collina Teramane DOCG, one of two DOCGs in Abruzzo. This is an inland region, roughly 30 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea and 350 meters above sea level. Touring the estate with Francesco Cirelli we felt a world away from civilization. It is worth a visit and a few lucky people can stay overnight in one of two luxury “glamping” cabins overlooking the vineyards.


Francesco Cirelli in front of glamping cabin

Francesco Cirelli in front of glamping cabin

Check out  Instagram@cirelliwineglamping  @cirelliwines

U.S Importer Zev Rovine Selections

Listen to our podcast with Francesco Cirelli on The Connected Table LIVE here:


Francesca and Michela

Francesca and Michela Cirelli