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Marche Wine

Marche (pronounced Mar-kay) is a region on the eastern side of central Italy. It occupies a roughly triangular area whose longer sides are formed by the Apennine Mountains in the west and the Adriatic Sea in the east. Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo are its neighboring regions to the north and south respectively, and it is separated from Umbria only by the Apennines.

Marches’s winemaking heritage spans thousands of years and has been influenced, among others, by the Etruscans, Romans and Lombards. The presence of these various cultures goes a long way to explaining the breadth of vinicultural tradition and wine styles in the region. Marches has a number of terroirs which are extremely well suited to the cultivation of vines, particularly among the rolling coastal hills such as those around Ancona. Due to the influences of the Apennines, the Adriatic and the region's rivers (the Metauro, Potenza, Tronto and Nera), there are various climates at work in Marche, giving wine producers both warm and cool viticultural zones to utilise. Calcareous, clay and limestone-rich soils contribute to the distinctive terroir, and vary according to the region's distinctive topography.

The Adriatic Coast from a Marche town
©Josephine Bennett

Marches's vineyards cover around 60,000 acres (25,000ha), and produce almost two million hL of wine annually. The majority of this is sold as Vino di Tavola or under the Indicazione Geografica Tipica title IGT Marche. Only 20% is sold under the region's 15 DOC and four DOCG titles: far from the 40% achieved by the wines of the nation's top-quality region Piedmont, but significantly higher than is found in Sicily and Calabria, where the DOC wine make up just 5% of total production.

Marches is best known as a white-wine region, although it is home to some reds of very high quality too. In terms of volume, the leading white varieties here are the ubiquitous Trebbiano (in various forms) and Verdicchio, the grape to which Marches has been a spiritual home for more than 600 years. The finest expressions of Verdicchio are found in the DOCGs Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. These green-hued, refreshingly crisp, green-tinged white wines are characterized by lively acidity and subtle herbaceous undertones, and are an excellent food match for Brodetto di Pesce, a rich seafood stew made locally. Another notable white wine from Marche is Bianchello di Metauro, made from Bianchello (also known as Biancame) grapes grown around the Matauro river valley. Other widely planted white grapes include Pinot Bianco, Malvasia Toscana, Pecorino and Bianchello, the latter most famously used in Bianchello del Metauro.

Among the red wines of Marches, the finest are generally made from Montepulciano and/or Sangiovese, the dark-skinned varieties which dominate central Italian red and here make the intensely fragrant Rosso Conero Riserva. This duo is backed up by Ciliegiolo, Pinot Nero, Lacrima di Morro and notably Vernaccia Nera, the variety behind the sparkling DOCG wine Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

Supporting these fine reds are DOCs Rosso Conero (only the riserva can carry the DOCG status) and Rosso Piceno. These firm, tannic wines are unusual in the sea of Marche's white and lighter-hearted reds, and fly the flag for diversity in the region's wine production. Another pair of promising DOCs are Terreni di Sanseverino and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, the latter a sweet red wine based on Lacrima di Morro, a variety peculiar to the commune of Morro d'Alba.

The DOCs listed above specialize in wines of just one color, but the majority of Marches DOCs cover both red and white. Of note among these are Offida (where Pecorino is making its mark), those from the Colli Maceratesi hills, especially Maceratino, and Esino with its top Verdicchio and Sangiovese-Montepulciano blends.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Oasi degli Angeli Kurni Rosso Marche IGT, Italy Montepulciano $98 710
Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno, Marche, Italy Montepulciano - Sangiovese $10 2326
Fazi Battaglia Titulus Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $11 2776
Collestefano Verdicchio di Matelica, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $15 4333
Velenosi Il Brecciarolo Rosso Piceno Superiore, Marche, Italy Montepulciano - Sangiovese $13 4949
Saladini Pilastri Pregio del Conte Rosso Marche IGT, Italy N/A $16 5092
Il Pollenza Marche IGT, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Sangiovese $61 8090
Velenosi Roggio del Filare Rosso Piceno Superiore, Marche, Italy Montepulciano - Sangiovese $33 8344
Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $11 8462
Umani Ronchi Pelago Marche Rosso IGT, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Montepulciano $35 9404
Fattoria Le Terrazze Planet Waves Rosso Marche IGT, Italy Merlot - Montepulciano $46 9477
Fattoria Colmone della Marca Bianco del Moro Marche IGT, Italy Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $30 9663
Fattoria Le Terrazze Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy Montepulciano $15 9767
Moncaro Trebbiano Marche IGT, Italy Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc) $6 9851
Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva DOCG, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $40 10430
Umani Ronchi Cumaro Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy Montepulciano $26 10562
Velenosi Ludi Rosso Marche IGT, Italy Cabernet - Merlot - Montepulciano $38 12437
Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $20 12520
Velenosi Querci'Antica Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, Marche, Italy Lacrima $13 12959
Sartarelli Balciana Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $28 13049
Fontezoppa Rosso Marche IGT, Italy Cabernet - Sangiovese $13 13840
Oasi degli Angeli Kupra Rosso Marche IGT, Italy Grenache (Garnacha) $218 14099
Saladini Pilastri Falerio dei Colli Ascolani, Marche, Italy Passerina - Pecorino - Trebbiano $8 14484
Umani Ronchi San Lorenzo Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy Montepulciano $15 15207
Umani Ronchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Marche, Italy Verdicchio $11 15410
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