Verdicchio di Matelica is the lesser known of the two Verdicchio-specialist DOCGs of the Marche region. Unlike its neighbor Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, which is located close to the Adriatic Sea, the vineyards of Matelica are landlocked. It is also unique as its valley runs from east to west, rather than from north to south as it does in the rest of the Marches.
The wine-producing zone is one tenth of the size of its counterpart, with around 740 acres (300ha) under vine. Vineyards are located at an altitude of 1312ft (400m) on slopes that form part of the Apennines, in the provinces of Macerata and Ancona. The terroir is ideal for the cultivation of vines, as the climate is continental and the soils are mineral rich with a calcareous clay content.
Verdicchio di Matelica also has a long history. Several legends are attached to this area. One story reveals that Verdicchio wine was provided to the troops of the king of the Visigoths, Alarich (370–410), when they marched on Rome in order to maintain their strength. This story can also be applied to wine from its counterpart, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
This white is noted for its fresh, fragrant and harmonious character, displaying a slightly sharper characteristic than Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, which is much rounder and mellower. It shows fine balance and structure and has great complexity when aged for several years. The versatile wine also combines well with small portions of Malvasia or Trebbiano, and can be made into a spumante version. As with the Jesi wine, it is the perfect partner to seafood, and also to the regional dish vincigrassi, an oven-baked and richer version of the Emilia-Romagna specialty lasagna.