WHAT ARE THE 5 DOCG WINE REGIONS OF LE MARCHE?
DISCOVERING WINE IN CENTRAL ITALY
Since the turn of the century, the quality and sales of ‘Marche wines’ have increased significantly.
Wine lovers of both white and red wines are equally satisfied.
With its 5 DOCG and 15 DOC appellations, there is therefore something for everyone.
3. Bianchello del Metauro.
4. Colli Maceratesi.
5. Colli Pesaresi.
7. Falerio dei Colli Ascolani of Falerio.
8. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.
9. Terre di Offida.
10. Rosso Conero.
11. Rosso Piceno of Piceno.
12. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
13. Verdicchio di Matelica.
15. I Terreni di Sanseverino.
17. San Ginesio.
2. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.
18. Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva.
19. Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva.
Le Marche wine region in central Italy amazes with its numerous varieties and territories. As a result, there are many different types of wines, all with their own style as well. The influences present in Le Marche are caused by the presence of the Apennines, the Adriatic Sea and the regional rivers.
The wine producers often operate as family businesses producing smaller, quality quantities. This means there are many charming small-scale winemakers, but they are less visible and use lesser-known grape varieties. So there is still a way to go for them, but therefore also a lot to discover for wine lovers in this beautiful Italian wine region.
GAMBERO ROSSO & LE MARCHE NEL BICCHIERE
‘Gambero rosso 2023’
The prestigious Italian wine guide ‘Gambero rosso 2023’ confirms the steady rise of this wine region. One mentions the great vitality of the “Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi”, the high average quality level of the “Verdicchio di Matelica” area, the continuous improvement of the “Pecorino del Piceno” and the salvation of “Morro d ‘Alba”. They also record a qualitative growth of Ribona, the “Verdicchio Marino” that is widespread in the province of Macerata. And something is also moving, in “Serrapetrona”. Of the tasting of 931 wines from 189 companies in summer 2022, 120 were listed in the “Gambero Rossi 2023”, 23 of which were awarded “Tre Bicchieri”, the highest rating in this guide.
In “Le Marche nel bicchiere 2022”, a wine guide published by the Italian sommelier association of Le Marche, Antonio Centocanti of the IMT (Istituro Marchigiano di Tutela Vini) and Giorgio Savini of Consorzio of Tutela Vini Piceni confirm that the majority of wine production in Le Marche is organic. Le Marche was avangardist in this regard, having started producing wines organically as early as 1992. Operating according to these strict rules is not always easy, as pesticides are not used and the treatments that are used are not always adequate. It requires competence, perseverance and sacrifice. But above all, organic wine growing is a philosophy, a way of thinking and a professional objective.
WHAT ARE LE MARCHE'S 5 DOCG WINE REGIONS?
Since the turn of the century, the quality and sales of ‘Marche wines’ have increased significantly. Wine lovers of both white and red wines are equally satisfied. With its 5 DOCG regions and 15 DOC appellations, there is something for everyone.
DOC Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
DOC Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is the by far the most important appellation within the Marches, named after the town of Jesi. The white grapes for the ‘Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi’ DOC have been cultivated since Roman times in the rolling hills of the provinces of Ancona and Macerata on a subsoil of lime, clay and limestone. The wonderful thing about this sublime grape variety is its constant elegance, which runs like a thread through all the wines, even when they are the most full-bodied and structured. Minerality, anointing fruit and fresh acidity, everything is there….
DOCG Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva
DOCG Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva is the riserva category of the DOC Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi promoted in 2010. This superior category makes up only a very small fraction (about 4%) compared to the DOC group. The DOCG appellation prescribes a minimum use of 85% verdicchio in the wine, moreover, riserva wines must age for a minimum of 18 months – of which at least six months must be in bottle – before they are marketed.
DOC Verdicchio di Matelica
DOC Verdicchio di Matelica is an appellation in south-western Marche, spread over an area around the town of Matelica. It is, so to speak, the counterpart of DOC Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Matelica is more inland than Jesi and, above all, much higher, on a valley plateau on the flared flanks of the Apennines. Here, the vineyards enjoy a continental climate. Verdicchio typically ripens much more slowly in Matelica, and is even harvested at least 10 days later than in Jesi. The result of all these differences is a wine with more structure and minerality than the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
DOCG Verdicchio di Matelica riserva
Since 2010, the DOC Verdicchio di Matelica promoted to a DOCG Verdicchio di Matelica riserva category. Here too we see that, as with the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, alongside the regular Matelica verdicchio, sparkling wine or sweet passito wine may be vinified, while this is not allowed within the DOCG. Furthermore, the riserva must mature for at least 18 months before commercialisation
Bianchello del Metauro DOC and some other DOC
The second great white wine of the reigo is the Bianchello del Metauro DOC. It is pressed from the rare grape variety Bianchello that originated in the province of Pesaro Urbino. The wine has a light pale yellow colour, a strong peach aroma and plenty of freshness. There is also the Colli Pesaresi DOC from imported white Trebbiano Tuscan grapes and a red wine from Sangiovese. The Pergola DOC benefits from the muscat aroma of the imported aleato grape. From the hills around Macerata come the fresh white wines called Colli Maceratesi DOC. A bouquet reminiscent of Verdicchio, as the maceratino grape originated from the verdicchio grape back in ancient times. The red wine of this appallation and the San Ginesio DOC consist of 50% Sangiovese grape.
DOC Terre di Offida
DOC Terre di Offida originated as an appellation from DOC Offida (founded in 2001) Within the white wines, pecorino and passerina were the only two permitted main grapes. Since 2011, only passerina can still be used as main grape (minimum 85%), although also possibly in passito, Vin Santo or spumante versions.
DOCG Offida is a recent top appellation that emerged from the DOC Offida since 2011. This DOCG takes its name from the town of Offida, a Stone Age settlement in the heart of the Piceno civilisation. The DOCG has largely adopted the prescriptions of this old DOC and includes three wine types: the Rosso Offida, the Offida Passerina and the Pecorino Offida
Falerio dei Colli Ascolani DOC
The Falerio dei Colli Ascolani DOC also uses Pecorino and Passerina grapes in a blend with Trebbiano-Toscano grapes or a wine based on (pure) Pecorino. These rare grapes have recently been producing excellent wines with acidic and bitter fruit notes.
Rosso Piceno DOC
The vineyards of Rosso Piceno DOC, which stretch across several municipalities of the provinces of Ancona, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno, are predominantly in the higher hills at 700 metres. This Piceno wine already had a solid ruputation in Roman civilisation.
In the Rosso Piceno grape assemblage, primarily the local Montepulciano grape (35 – 82%) is used, as well as the Sangiovese grape (15-50%)
Rosso Conero DOC en Conero DOCG
The Rosso Conero DOC, is an important appellation for Le Marche. The DOC occupies a small area on the slopes of the Monte Conero massif just south of the port city of Ancona. A beautiful, meaty red wine is made here from the Montepulciano grape plus up to 15% Sangiovese. The best Rosso Conero is a firm, full-bodied red wine with a bouquet of black cherries and Mediterranean herbs. Since 2004, the Riserva version have received separate DOCG status; Conero DOCG
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOC & DOCG
DOC Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is a 1971 appellation that was promoted to Vernachia di Serrapetrona DOCG in 2004. The appellation only provides red sparkling wine from the vernaccia nera grape (grenache). These grapes are partially (at least 40%) dried during the winter months. This wine undergoes 3 fermentations before being bottled. The first is done with the must, the second after adding the must from the dried grapes and the third in the autoclave. This is a relatively small appellation with a small number of producers despite the fact that this area around Serrapetrona has been making wine since the Middle Ages.
Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC
Finally, we find the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC with the Lacrima grape, which is only found in the Marche region around the town of Morro d’Alba. The name lacrima means tear, because of the drops that form on the grapes as they ripen. A special feature is the second fermentation the wine sometimes undergoes by adding a percentage of must from grapes dried on the vine (passito).
Le Marche, wine region to discover
Le Marche wines comprise 20% of Italian wine production. This percentage does not yet reach the top Italian region Piedmont where it is 40%, but it is many times higher than regions such as Puglia and Sicilia, for example. Besides the DOC and DOCG, there are also Vino di Tavola or Indicazione Geografica Tipcia, IGT Marche.
More than enough, to make a nice wine trip in this versatile and beautiful wine region!
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