Of unknown origin, Montepulciano has been present in Puglia certainly as far back as the late18th century, when it was widespread primarily in the northern reaches of the province of Foggia. Several contemporary sources, in fact, in describing agricultural production in the Kingdom of Naples, explicitly cite Montepulciano as being cultivated in what is today the province of Foggia.
The variety’s ampelographic traits include a medium-short, semi-compact cluster that is conical or cylindrical-conical and often winged; the purplish-black berry is medium-small with a very thick skin. Montepulciano is fairly late-ripening, with good resistance to mould and frost, and excellent suitability to the climate along the Adriatic coast. It appears as a primary variety in several denominations; in the San Severo and Castel del Monte DOPs, for example, Montepulciano has historically been co-planted in the same vineyards with Nero di Troia, and in the Brindisi and Copertino DOPs it is used with Negroamaro in blends.