Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Matelica: wine guide
Verdicchio is the most important wine of the Marche region, but not only: it is becoming one of the best Italian white wines, thanks to stellar qualitative growth.
Verdicchio is a salty, fresh, fairly austere wine and you will recognize it because of its citrus fruit, the abundant aromatic herbs, and the dry and almondy finish. The trinity of the almond-lemon-elderberry on a mineral background will make you recognize it quite easily. If it makes wood aging, it develops buttery Chardonnay-style notes.
In recent years, the winemakers of the Marche region have been focusing heavily on this indigenous grape variety of the Marche and both clonal selection and low yields have transformed it into a structured, elegant, ambitious wine with great thickness.
The times of the dull Verdicchio wine in a jug to drink on the beach or the one in the fish shape bottle that tasted like an orange soda are light-years away. Nope, today Verdicchio presents itself as a top-notch wine, also produced in the Riserva version, sculpted by 18 months of cask and bottle aging.
And with some years of aging in the cellar it becomes even better, it develops infinite mature and evolved suggestions, seductive tertiary scents, always maintaining stellar acidity.
Vinification and styles of Verdicchio
Now the level of mastery is such that the Marche winemakers shape Verdicchio at will, in a thousand ways, or rather in 4, let’s not exaggerate… An entry level wine to drink as an aperitif or for seafood risotto, the Riserva that comes from the best cru-vineyards, the sparkling Verdicchio and then Verdicchio passito, a truly spectacular sweet nectar.
The reason for all this love for Verdicchio is easy to say: its innate acidity is a boon that allows the winemakers to work it without problems. You want it young? It is vinified in steel. Do you want to make ambitious wines? You can make Riserva with a lot of substance that then refines in wood and does not lose a bit of acidity. The passito is sweet, but sharp and always agile and the sparkling wine, well, the acidity is what you look for making base wine for sparkling wines and Spumante Metodo Classico. With this amazing range, you understand why it is the protagonist of the Marche winemaking.
Verdicchio production areas
There are two large areas: the Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica, both boasting DOC and DOCG in the Riserva version. The grape variety used in the two areas is always the same, however, the climate changes. Around Jesi, there is a more windy and marine climate and you can find many producers. Near Matelica, a small village nestled among the first offshoots of the Apennines, you get harsher conditions.
The vine is always the same, the characteristics of the soil very different. Verdicchio di Jesi is very varied, marked by the iodized influences of the sea, that of Matelica slightly more structured due to the heavier soils made of clay. Small differences that do nothing but add charm to a wine that in a few kilometers changes its face.
History of Verdicchio
Verdicchio is the historical grape of the Marche region, the gold of the region, which has always been cultivated. The first documents that officially speak about Verdicchio date back to the mid-1500s and since then it has always been the undisputed protagonist of the enology of the Marche region.
Verdicchio food pairings
Fish of course in all its forms, but also white meats and veal: fish and chips, pumpkin tortelli, spaghetti with clams, rice noodles with prawns and vegetables, parmigiana ravioli, spaghetti with clams, chicken tikka masala, Chicken Cacciatore, Vitello Tonnato, truffle risotto, pasta alla carbonara, Cantonese rice.