Lunch and Learn with Cristiana Tiberio hosted by World Wine Synergy

This past week I attended a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by World Wine Synergy with Cristiana Tiberio, winemaker of her family’s Agricola Tiberio, this experience made me sit up and take note of what Cristiana and her brother, Antonio, are doing to produce wines that speak to their terroir and narrate the geographical and climatic changes through the years.

Located between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic Sea in Central Italy, the Abruzzo region is the fifth largest wine producing region in Italy – yet despite being graced by favourable wine producing natural elements, this region has not garnered as much attention as other more celebrated wine regions such as Piedmont or Tuscany.

The Tiberio vineyard was purchased in 1999 by their father, Riccardo Tiberio, who recognized the valuable indigenous grape varietals in the abandoned vineyard. The vineyard was overrun by weeds, and it took 5 years of clearing and pruning before the vines were able to produce grapes again. Through meticulous analysis of the soil and careful propagation of the ancient vines through massal selection process (selecting and grafting from existing vines in the vineyard), the Tiberios were able to grow vines that have adapted over the years to the various changes in the vineyard and terroir thus building natural defenses and developing unique flavours. This would not have been achieved with clones purchased from a plant nursery. The grapes are organically farmed without fertilizer or irrigation.

We were in for a treat as we tasted through the portfolio of Tiberio wines including the sought-after Fonte Canale, Colle Vota, as well as the first release of the Archivio (the only wine that has been aged in oak). Here is a list of the wines we tasted:


Due to its thin skin and low sugar, the native Trebbiano Abruzzese grapes are harder to grow and have been mostly overtaken by the heartier Trebbiano Toscano grapes in the region. However, through diligent propagation in the vineyard from 65+ year old vines, Tiberio’s Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is made with 100% hand harvested Trebbiano Abruzzese, free run juice, indigenous yeasts and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Clear, medium straw yellow with vibrant aromas of citrus, green apples, fresh almonds and a hint of white flowers. Crisp and bright acidity balanced by a defined minerality and salinity. The finish lingers and the mouth-watering juiciness entices you to take another sip. 2023 was a difficult year with a cool rainy spring and very dry summer resulting in a wine with more delicate and floral profile.

Brilliant light yellow with green tint, this wine exhibits fresh aromas of apricot, grapefruit, jasmine and orange blossom.

» Crisp and clean on the palate with zippy flavours of green apple, anise, and almond.
» Pairs well with vegetable appetizers, freshwater fish, shellfish, fried foods.


“Pale, bright yellow-green. Aromas of crisp yellow apple, white flowers, lime and hazelnut: this is very pretty and very Trebbiano Abruzzese, not Trebbiano Toscano. For all its juiciness this is tactile and blessed with sneaky concentration, boasting excellent energy to its bright lemon, herbal and toast flavors. Uncharacteristically for this wine, there’s a suggestion of opulence here joining in the more usual elements of freshness and austerity. Finishes long, classically dry and laid-back, with a light saline component and outstanding freshness. Chill this well and get ready to drink it all summer long. Drinking window: 2023-2028.”


Considered as one of Italy’s best white wines, the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo from the Fonte Canale vineyard is sublime. Growing on a unique sandy sub-soil, the 90+ years ungrafted vines in this vineyard have adapted and mutated to its local terroir that it even tastes and behaves differently from the other Trebbiano Abrusses biotypes in the rest of the vineyard.

The 2019 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Fonte Canale is a deeper straw yellow with a bouquet brimming with candied lemon peel, ginger, flinty stone and dried apricot. As the wine opens up in the glass, you can detect a layering of flavours and textures building complexity. An elegant balance of vibrancy and precision with an impressionable finish. This wine will develop with age.


» “A dazzling bouquet of honeyed flowers, young mango, apricot, flinty stone and sweet smoke make the 2019 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Fonte Canale impossible to ignore. It’s savory and supremely soft textured, pushing its pure orchard fruits forward and allowing its minerality to play a supporting role, which creates a sense of undeniable elegance and balance. The 2019 lingers incredibly long, leaving a salty stain and tension that tugs at the palate; pretty inner florals and hints of ginger slowly fade. The production of the 2019 Fonte Canale was down by 20% due
to the cold conditions during flowering.” – Eric Guido

» Straw yellow with green tint.
» Green apple, apricot, tangerine, lemon peel and nuances of white flowers and anise.
» Crisp and vibrant with rich and tactile mouthfeel. Finishes long with harmonious minerality and a flinty yet creamy texture.
» 100% massal selections of original Trebbiano d’Abruzzese grapes. Fermented in stainless steel tanks using only
indigenous yeasts. Bottles and unfiltered, aged in tank and bottle.


It was by accident that Cristiana and Antonio came across the Pecorino vines on their property. The distinctive round leaves and thick-skinned berries of this ancient varietal caught their eyes, and they began to propagate the plant from the several vines found on their land. The indigenous Pecorino vines thrive on the cooler mountainside resulting in their pronounced green herbal aromas in contrast to the lighter tropical notes often found from the Pecorino grapes sold in nurseries from flatter lands.

We were lucky to taste a mini-vertical of this delicious and distinctive wine: 2023, 2017 and 2014.

2023 Tiberio Pecorino: Medium yellow gold colour. Delicate aromas of rosemary, sage, lemon grass and kiwi. There is a sense of lightness in the wine, but the mouth feel is rounded and has weight. The finish is salty and memorable.

“Bright green-tinged deep straw colour. Very ripe aromas of quince paste, lemon curd, glazed pineapple and orange oil, freshened up by a Pecorino-typical note of green figs; not much in the way of the variety’s usual sage and thyme nuances here. Then rich ripe and mellow, with a velvety mouthfeel to the fleshy, sultry almost tropical fruit and ripe citrus flavours. The aftertaste is long, silky and round. I really liked this, but I’m not sure it will age quite as long as some other vintages of Tiberio’s Pecorino, so drink up: but then again, it’s so delicious now, why defer
gratification? Drinking window: 2024-2029.” – Eric Guido

» Deep straw yellow with intense aromas of sage, rosemary, green fig, peach, and yellow melon.
» Crisp on the palate, it is full bodied with a lingering minerality on the finish.
» Excellent with seafood pasta, legumes, white meats, and cheeses.
» Grown in a hilly vineyard where it is known to perform better than on flatland, this Pecorino is rich in glycerol but
also endowed with high total acidity, thus offering a unique combination of texture and vibrancy. This Pecorino can

2017 Tiberio Pecorino: Deep gold in colour with a distinctive dried apricot on the nose. It was a hot vintage, and the alcohol level seems high. There was a definite salinity and tartness on the palate, with a hint of bitterness of a citrus pith.

2014 Tiberio Pecorino: Even though this was the oldest vintage, it had a lighter hue of medium minus straw yellow. Citrus and crushed stones on the nose with a surprising bright and refreshing acidity on the palate. The wine is structured, balanced and delicious – it tasted younger than its vintage.


‎The Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, according to Cristiana, is something different – it is a matter of energy and electricity with the level of tannins carefully calibrated in intensity, vibrancy and precision. Served chilled, this bright ruby red Rosé is refreshingly delicious. Perfumes of red cherries, wild strawberries and pomegranate greet you as you take your first sip followed by a symphony of bright cranberries, cherries, raspberries, rhubarb, green herbs and a dash of mineral salt.


» The 2022 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo seduces with its perfumed blend of crushed cherries and strawberries, complemented by rhubarb, violets and sweet smoke. It’s racy and sleek, built on energy, with a mineral core that grips the palate. A cascade of wild berries is excited by tantalizing acidity. This finishes dramatically long, lightly structured and full of zesty tension as salty nuances combine with tart red fruits and hints of sour citrus. The 2022 takes Cerasuolo to a whole new level. This is more a red than a Rosé, and with a bouquet to match." – Eric Guido

» Bright pinkish red with fresh aromas of red cherry and small red berries.
» Juicy and crisp with excellent acid-fruit balance in a clean floral finish.
» Excellent with pizza, pasta, fish dishes, light meat. Pairs particularly well with dishes in tomato-based sauce.


Made with 100% hand harvested massal selected Montepulciano grapes that are over 60 years old, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the signature wine of the region. Fermented in stainless steel using only indigenous yeasts, Cristiana respects the natural changes in the vineyard and lets the terroir speak through the heritage grapes by her low intervention winemaking.

The deep ruby red of the wine is intense in both colour and aroma. On the nose, vibrant ripe cherries, blueberries and violets. Lively and pronounced flavours of red berries, licorice and hint of coriander. The tannins are smooth followed by a pleasant finish in the front. This wine will pair well with BBQ meats and red sauce pasta.

Brilliant ruby red with violet tint, this wine exhibits intense aromas of sour red cherry and blueberry with hints of violet and a flinty note.
» Crisp and vibrant on the palate with soft tannins well integrated in a full-bodied and persistent finish.
» Excellent with tomato-based dishes, pasta in meat sauce, poultry and wildfowl, red meat and venison.


» “Bright ruby. Bitter red and black cherry, blackcurrant, tobacco and violet on the perfumed, inviting nose, along with an intriguing flinty quality. Fresh and energetic, but at the same time suave and silky in the mouth, with a concentrated dark cherry and fresh plum flavours. Impressively dense and serious for a wine in this price range, finishing with broad, fine tannins and outstanding length. Drinking window: 2024-2030.”


The Montepulciano from the “Colle Vota” vineyard is a unique biotype and very different from the other Montepulciano grapes, i.e. smaller berries with thicker skins. They grow well in cooler and rainy vintages and has a more refined profile.

The colour is deep garnet and opaque. The aromas are intense with black currants, dark fruits, dried violets and damp forest floor with a distinctive hint of cloves, cumin and nutmeg. The tannins are smooth and still quite pronounced. The velvety finish is expressive and lengthy. The drinking window of this wine can extend for another 7 or 8 years.


» “The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colle Vota lifts up dark, exotic, spicy and intense. Cracked chalk, dried violets and lavender give way to plum skins and black currants dusted in curry spices. This is silky, verging on velvety in texture and massively floral, communicating supreme elegance with green botanicals mingling with vibrant wild berry then morphing into nuances of peach, all lifted by lively acidity and with a lovely inner sweetness. A primary concentration of exotic citrus and spices sizzle around the perimeters of the palate, lingering incredibly long through
the lightly structured, yet fresh, finale. There are so many layers here. Colle Vota hails from a single parcel of vines planted in sandy, stony soils within the Tiberio vineyards, one which produces smaller berries and thicker skins. I highly recommend decanting the 2018 if opening it today, as it evolves over the course of hours. Drink now – 2032”
– Eric Guido

» 100% massal selections of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, transplanted to a higher single vineyard—Colle Vota– resulting in a specific biotype uniquely adapted to its microclimate, soils and altitude. The resulting wine combines elements reminiscent of Burgundy’s Pinot Noir and Piedmont’s Nebbiolo, while maintaining a Montepulciano backbone and soul.
Hand-harvested in late October; fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation
and aging in tank; bottled unfined and unfiltered; aged in bottle before release.


The Archivio is made from the oldest Montepulciano d’Abruzzo vines from part of the Tiberio vineyard with a strong clay presence in the subsoil. The name Archivio means “archives”, and these are the four biotypes of Montepulciano grapes specifically selected and propagated forming the foundation of the Tiberio vision. Cristiana noted a “reductive” quality in a couple of the biotypes and therefore decided to partly age the wine in oak barriques (30% new French oak and 70% stainless steel) to give it the necessary oxygen.

The 2017 Archivio is the first vintage released of this wine. Deep bottomless garnet with an intense dark ripe cherries and warm spiced aroma. On the palate is a powerful combination of black cherries, red currants, dried violets with a light tobacco and mushroom umami. Smooth tannins and the flavour remain memorably on the tongue.


» “Luminous deep ruby. Very expressive, complex and deep nose of smoky dark and red cherry fruit, sweet spices, flint and cocoa, but with the tell-tale Tiberio refinement. Then very smooth and creamy, but with a ripely penetrating quality to its multilayered dark fruit and sweet spice flavours: the oak here is not obtrusive at all but adds an extra dimension and another layer to the wine. The finish is long and suave. Drink now – 2032.”
» This is the first vintage of this wine that is a Riserva in everything but name. It is also the first wine that Tiberio has ever aged in wood (30% aged in French oak barriques, 33% of which are new). Grapes are picked from 65-year-old Montepulciano vines of four biotypes that the Tiberios have nurtured over the years.

Agricola Tiberio

Tiberio is a family-owned estate, specializing in wines made from authentic Abruzzo native grape varieties. The story of Agricola Tiberio began in 2000 when Riccardo Tiberio purchased the eight-hectare plot of Trebbiano Abruzzese vines he had fallen in love with, along with another 31 hectares of land. Guided by decades of personal experience and one of Italy’s most renowned nurseries, Riccardo planted a selection of indigenous varieties matched to the different soil characteristics of the vineyard. Montepulciano Abruzzese, Trebbiano Abruzzese, and Aglianico were planted along with Pecorino and Moscato di Castiglione clones from ancient vines in the area. In 2008, Riccardo handed over the reins of the winery to his children, daughter Cristiana and son Antonio. The role of viticulturalist went to Antonio while Cristiana handled the winemaking. In 2011, Cristiana took over all the winemaking duties and is now solely responsible for the wines made at the estate. The Tiberios have one goal in mind: make wines that clearly speak of the varieties and the land from which they come.

The lunch was hosted at Pepino’s Spaghetti House and Chef Phil prepared an outstanding menu to pair
with the exceptional lineup of Tiberio wines.


Caprese salad, hot house tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, basil, aged balsamic, Volpi olive oil – The Trebbiano d’Abruzzo paired perfectly with the salad – the acidity in the wine provided a nice contrast to the creaminess of the mozzarella di bufala and the sweetness of the aged balsamic.

Mezzi mafaldine, zucchini & anchovy ragú, saffron, parmigiano Reggiano – I was especially pleased with the pairing of the three Pecorinos with this pasta. The richness of the pasta enhanced the herbal qualities of the wine. Also, the light vibrant Cerasuolo offered an interesting balance to the pasta dish as well.

Roasted B.C. lamb rack, mint salsa verde, fennel pollen with sauteéd swiss chard, pine nuts, garlic oil, sherry vinegar – The three Montepulciano reds even though uniquely different from each other, all paired wonderfully with the lamb. The generous herbs on the lamb bring out the wild mountain characteristics of these grapes reflecting their native terroir.


TELEPHONE: 604-254-5633


You will find a small selection of Tiberio wines at select BC Liquor Stores. Shelley’s wine notes (in italics). Wine notes, awards and comments courtesy of the winery and World Wine Synergy. received an exclusive invitation to attend this intimate wine tasting lunch, which was complimentary. Images: Shelley Hayashi for MyVanCity.

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