One of the lesser known wine regions of Italy, but certainly one of the most beautiful, being in the Marche was like a little slice of paradise. Lucky me, I got to be there and take part in some pretty incredible tastings! Over 90 wines in 3 days, and most of them Verdicchio!
The Collisioni Festival was responsible for bringing about 30 sommeliers, journalists, importers and other experts to the Marche for the weekend of September 2-5 to take part in their Collisioni Progetto Vino – on the Road. Not only was there wine tasting(s), we got to see both the towns of Jesi and Matelica, the major wine producing areas of the region, as well as other local attraction. The wine producing regions have been compared to a marathon as opposed to a sprint. They didn’t get to where they are today quickly: it took time to become established as an important wine region. Notice the name Le Marche, or on a map; Marches. It is the only plural region of Italy, named so because it is a series of areas highly invested in agriculture. Something I didn’t know before this trip, and probably many others did not either. And here are a couple of other things I learned:
- The highest number of native grapes of any other region lives here. People have remained faithful to their plots of land and didn’t plant Chardonnay or any other international variety, despite earning less money for native grapes
- Like Burgundy, it is very fractured. Lots of small plots of land
- 35% of Marche wine is exported, of which 70% of that is Verdicchio
- 400K Euros was invested in the Marche region in 2009
- New plantings account for 3.5% every year, which translates to continued success for the Marche
- There are 4 DOCG’s (Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Reserva, Conero Riserva, Verdicchio di Matelica Reserva, Vernaccia di Serrapetrona)
- 12 DOC’s in the Marche (Bianchello del Metauro, Colli Maceratesi, Colli Pesaresi, Esino, I terreni di Sanseverino, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Pergola, Rosso Conero, San Ginesio, Serrapetrona, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Verdicchio di Matelica)
- Cooperatives are important, but decreasing here. Now, it is moreso about small family run producers. The “big boys” and “little guys” work together
- Cost of labour is expensive here so the region is looking at new systems and updates for mechanization to cut costs
- There are 2000 ha total under vine, with more money being invested into the region in 2016. The future of the Marche looks bright indeed
Fresh foods, culture, history, architecture, agriculture, wine, seaside, craggy bluffs and crazy caves; this region has a little bit of everything, and I barely scratched the surface of this amazing place!
Lots to see and do in the Marche! The wine is fantastic, but the sights are too! Stay tuned for more! Salute!