Verdicchio, a white grape variety among the most important in Italy.

Verdicchio, a white grape variety among the most important in Italy.

Sep 08, 2022


Ilaria Rosa

The Marche is considered its land of origin, although in this regard there are several hypotheses: the most popular is the second one here would have been Venetian settlers to plant the vines, after moving to the Marche to repopulate the territory following a terrible plague epidemic. This hypothesis is supported by recent genetic studies that would reveal a close relationship between Verdicchio, Trebbiano di Soave and Trebbiano di Lugana, renowned Venetian vines.

Verdicchio is said to have already been known by the ancient Romans; in fact, it seems that a wine made from its grapes dates back to 410 AD. when the Roman Empire went through a great crisis and our peninsula was invaded by hordes of barbarians. It is written that Alaric, king of the Visigoths, with the intent of sacking Rome made a stop near the castles of Jesi to take down barrels of the ancestor of Verdicchio; this is because he claimed that his men had nothing else that invigorated them so much to face the battle. In some ancient writings found it is testified that the cultivation of Verdicchio vines was widespread in the Marche areas as early as the sixteenth century, but only from the mid-1800s was a production of a good quality level reached; and just in that specific period, Ubaldo Rosi, began the experiments of sparkling wine of his grapes with extraordinary potential.

Verdicchio has recently been linked to various wines, and not only from the Marche region, but without a shadow of a doubt all its best potential can be found in the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC. This excellent wine is produced exclusively in the hilly areas around Macerata and in the province of Ancona, even in various versions: sparkling, passito and moldy, with pure Verdicchio grapes, or in percentages of at least 85%. A great white with extraordinary qualities that had its great explosion in the 50s and 60s, also thanks to the invention of the famous amphora bottle designed by the architect Maiocchi, a national success, for a light, fresh and easy to drink. This popular great success, as it often happens, was at the expense of good quality, but laid the foundation for a good final production in the following years. In 1968 it obtained the DOC, in 2010 the DOCG, for the Riserva and Riserva Classico, a denomination given exclusively to wines aged at least 24 months, of which at least 6 in bottle, and coming from the oldest production area in the territories of the municipalities along the river Esino.

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi has a fairly constant production; it is a wine suitable for aging like few others and also with great structure and high alcohol content. Today it is one of the most popular white wines in Italy and in the world. In 2014 it was the still white wine that received the most awards from Italian guides, in recent years it has been recognized several times by the Gambero Rosso guides, and entered the top 100 of the best wines in the world. A Verdicchio in 2018 was awarded the gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Award, one of the most important wine competitions in the world, and was confirmed among the best Italian standard-bearers of still white, which was the best-selling wine in the world (2018 Nomisma Wine-Monitor data presented on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Doc).

Not least is Verdicchio di Matelica, a more recent DOCG grown in an inland area away from marine influence where the continental climate makes its terroir unique. Verdicchio di Matelica differs on several sections from that of Jesi, starting above all from the taste which is less "explosive", and the versatility of the combinations. Before being placed on the market, Verdicchio di Matelica must follow an aging period of at least 18 months.

As for the combinations, Verdicchio goes perfectly with first courses based on fish and seafood, as well as goes well with pasta, risotto and vegetable soups. It is also excellent paired with main courses, in fact it lends itself to being sipped with white meats with potatoes, but also with meats with a more decisive flavor such as game, thanks to its acidity that sustains and prolongs the taste.

Excellent with grilled or baked fish, with molluscs and crustaceans, it can also be tasted with cheeses, truffles and dried fruit. At the end of the meal, a good glass of Verdicchio also goes well with not too sweet pastry.
In short, Verdicchio is an extremely versatile wine, capable of being drunk with ease from aperitif to dessert, and can take place on the table every day! Discover the dedicated selection.

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