A border land, to which it owes its name, between Central Italy and the North, the Marche region is one of the most heterogeneous in the wine-growing country. The most representative grape is certainly the Verdicchio, a white wine that has written the history of the region's wine scene.
Verdicchio is, without mincing words, one of the greatest Italian white grape varieties. A vine that is still not fully appreciated, but which for versatility and personality is at the top of international white wine production. After all, what might have been a disadvantage for years - extreme territoriality - today is Verdicchio’s real strength: a vine that is at one with the territory that, almost unique, hosts it. Verdicchio and Marche are in fact the spouses of a perfect marriage. It is on the hills of Jesi, among the ancient castles of the ancient Marca, that Verdicchio has found a unique habitat, with a climate that is still Mediterranean but already mitigated by the cool currents of the interior, with beautifully exposed soils rich in mineral deposits that give the grapes backbone and structure.
Moreover, as demonstrated by the valorisation of Verdicchio Riserva with an exclusive DOCG appelation, despite its name - Verdicchio da "verdolino", that is, fresh and easy to drink - the vine does not shy away from long and complex ageing in large barrels or on the lees, which makes it immense in olfactory breadth and character on the palate: aromatic herbs, lemon balm, elderberry, exotic fruit, and minerality are just some of the sensations that this wine can give. But the gold of the Marche region is not only in Jesi. It is also in Matelica, immersed in the valleys of the Apennines, where a mountain Verdicchio is produced, decidedly finer and sharper, of impressive elegance. A wine that shares with its brother Jesi the excellent response to long aging, and consequently one of the most appreciable longevity among all Italian white wines, which can exceed 20 years.
By now permanently at the top of the quality production of Italian wine, the Marche region offers red wines both of good drinkability and ready aromaticity, as well as great structure and very long ageing. The first type undoubtedly includes Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, a product of excellence from the hills of Ancona: a wine endowed with a light aromaticity and great persuasiveness, fine and delicate, with fruity and vinous scents, ideal for pairing with cheeses that are not very mature or with numerous fish dishes. A grape variety, Lacrima, known and protected since the times of Federico Barbarossa, which risked become extinct but is now also vinified in refined versions, which give excellent results in terms of structure and longevity.
The "vinoni" from the Marche meet mainly around the Conero and, further south, in the Piceno area. The Conero, the imposing Adriatic mountain overlooking Ancona, gives the vineyards of Montepulciano a wonderful southern exposure and numerous microclimates and terroirs that give the wines a character and structure which is being increasingly recognised and appreciated. The one from Conero, one of the greatest Italian Montepulcianos, here is traditionally combined with drops of an extraordinary “sea” Sangiovese to obtain an exceptionally long-lived blend of great austerity and sapidity, capable of withstanding very demanding ageing.
In terms of great wines, the Piceno is in no way inferior to the Marche region. Here, too, Montepulciano and Sangiovese, between the sea and the mountains, contribute to the creation of some of Italy's most distinctive oenological masterpieces: long oak aging and skilful, avant-garde winemaking produce glasses of surprising robustness, in which the fruity, spicy, balsamic bouquet flows into a full, velvety, silky, infinite drink.
Only Lacrima, Montepulciano and Sangiovese? Of course not! The Marche region is also a land of international grape varieties, which here find space not only in cult wines of international reputation, but also in extreme value for money products. What's more, the Marche region is also a land of emerging white wines, such as Pecorino: a great grape variety that, especially in the Piceno area of Offida, gives extraordinary results in terms of structure, persistence and longevity. Definitely worth trying!