Wine alone could provide an excellent motive for touring in the Marche and winemaking in the area has been having its own little renaissance over the last ten years or so, with a move away from quantity towards quality.
From producing rough plonk for the masses, the region now boast some outstanding vini da meditazione, wines so good they should be drunk with religious respect. These top class wines are not cheap and often cost much the same whether bought here or back home. But as well as the fashionable labels, you can drink excellent wines at excellently low prices.
Joy, anyway, is not only to be found in the restrained sipping of august bottled vintages, but also in the enthusiastic quaffing of young, local wines. These still-living brews are liable to dramatic alteration at the mere changing of the moon and are barely able to withstand the journey from cellar to table (let alone a long trip north), yet often delight by their incisive personality and honest price. Often, you will not go far wrong simply sticking to the vino della casa.
The Marche's pride is Verdicchio made from the local grape with the same name. This green-tinged wine with a distinctive bitter finish goes well with the region's Adriatic fish. Like Orvieto, it is among Italy's best-known dry whites, and it has come a long way since the commercially successful but mediocre Verdicchio of twenty odd years ago. The two DOC (the official Italian equivalent of the French Appellation Contrôllée) versions are - Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. The other Marche DOC whites are Bianchello del Metauro and Colli Pesaresi Bianco from the north, Esino Bianco and Colli Maceratesi from the central Marche, and Falerio from the south.
While the Marche is known world-wide for its white wine, the region also makes some outstanding reds. Around the Conero peninsula, Rosso Conero, made from the Montepulciano grape, is a rich, perfumed wine that often reaches greatness. Rosso Piceno, and the even better Rosso Piceno Superiore from the south, blend Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes. A red sparkling oddity is Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, normally a sweet dessert wine but also available in a drier secco version. Other Marche DOC reds are Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi around Pesaro, Esino Rosso, and the delicious intensely-scented Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, both from the central Marche.
text by courtesy of Marche Voyager
Le Marche and its wine
The vine is one of Italy's most typical plants. It finds wonderful growing conditions for the production of red grapes on the rolling, sun-bathed hills of the Marche region.
In the months of September and October the grapes are fully matured and the farmers start to collect them: it's time for the wine harvest.
The grapes are quickly taken to the cantina, where fruit and vintage comb are separated to be able to extract the juices from the grape.
After about a 10-day fermentation period decanting takes place to separate the juice from the skins and seeds.
The must continues to ferment and slowly develops a pleasant taste and a brilliant ruby-red colour.... and by Saint Martin's Day (11 November) the must has turned into wine! The best wines will then be aged for two years in oak vats (at well-balanced temperatures) to perfect their quality, so that wine connoisseurs can enjoy them for many years to come.
The passion for the cultivation of the vine and the transformation of the grapes into wine has been lovingly passed on from father to son.