Viticolture in Marche
While Verdicchio leads the scene in Central Marche, thriving in the Castelli di Jesi and Matelica areas, Montepulciano takes center stage in southern Marche and in the Conero area, and Sangiovese and Bianchello (Trebbiano) are widely grown in the Metauro area. International grapes area grown throughout the region, and give a few good to excellent wines.
What are the Grape Varieties of the Marche?
Verdicchio: Verdicchio is the most famous grape from Le Marche. Thriving in the Castelli di Jesi and Matelica areas, it gives crisp and minerally – often Chablis-like – wines that gain complexity and aromatic breadth with aging in oak, bottle or stainless steel on the fine lees. Benefiting from maritime influence, versions from Castelli di Jesi are slightly riper and more textural, while Verdicchio di Matelica comes from an inland valley with a continental climate, resulting in slim wines with sharp acidity but also higher alcohol deriving from the extended hanging period. Metodo Classico (bottle-fermented) Verdicchio sparkling wine is also worth seeking out.
Pecorino: the other key white variety, Pecorino grows in the Monti Sibillini and Offida areas, close to the border with Abruzzo. Floral and slightly herbal, it gives bright and refreshing whites with good aging potential.
Lacrima: The indigenous Lacrima grape is almost exclusively found in the township of Morro d’Alba: it gives medium-bodied, low-tannin and distinctively aromatic red wines redolent of red roses and sweet red fruits, sometimes with a whiff of dried herbs and spice.
Vernaccia Nera di Serrapetrona: another aromatic grape, often employed in the production of sweet or off-dry sparkling red wines.
Key red grapes: Widespread red varieties include Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Bordò, a local biotype of Grenache, produces full-bodied reds in the province of Ascoli Piceno (Southern Marche).
Bianchello del Metauro: a biotype of Trebbiano Toscano grown in Northern Marche, Bianchello gives fresh and zesty whites.