|Everyone has heard of Tuscany, Piedmont, Umbria, Sicily even Emilia Romagna, but Marches? And for wine? Yes, indeed, there’s a lot going for the Marches (pronounced, mar-ké) even though it may not be so well known. It’s a small region in the heart of Italy with multiple resources and numerous businesses, as well as cultural and historic interest.|
Reva K. Singh just got back after visiting wineries big and small and tasting numerous excellent wines.
Situated between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea on the eastern side of the Italian peninsula, the region’s varied topography and mild climate is well suited to viticulture and the production of top quality grapes.
|With 51,000 acres under grapes, the region’s scenic, undulating landscape covered with vineyards around fortified hilltop villages was popular with Renaissance painters. Grape growing comprises 42,000 of the 80,000 enterprises in the Marches, according to Assivip (Inter-provincial Association of Producers of Fine Wines).
Bypassing international varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc among the whites, 80% of the white wine is produced from the local varietal, Verdicchio (pronounced ver-di-kio) with only a very small per cent of other grapes like Trebbiano.
Today this varietal is almost exclusively grown in the Marches which is also the only region producing a wine by this name.
|In fact, the Marches has earned a place on the wine map of the world for the excellent quality, style and aging potential of its Verdicchio wine. which is known for its versatility. Depending on the ripeness of the grape when it is picked, Verdicchio ranges from dry and sparkling through light and fresh to age-worthy reservas and passito dessert wines.|
An elegant wine, straw yellow in colour with greenish highlights, Verdicchio, generally speaking however, is dry, intense, and lively with a distinctive bitter finish and delicate aroma.
The three best known Verdicchio DOC zones are Castelli di Jesi, Castelli di Jesi Classic and Matelica, a much smaller area.
To be continued