Le Marche

Wine Zones of Le Marche, Italy: 
DOCG Wine Zones:
Conero, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva, Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.
DOC Wine Zones:
Bianchello del Metauro, Colli Maceratesi, Colli Pesaresi, Esino, Falerio dei Colli Ascolani or Falerio, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Offida, Pergola, Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno, Serrapetrona, I Terreni di Sanseverino, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Verdicchio di Matelica,.
IGT Wine Zones:

Specialty foods or typical foods of the area (cibo tipici):
Pecorino cheese that has been aged in caves 
(Formaggio di fossa). Fish stew (Brodetto). Porchetta, stuffed olives, 
breaded and fried (olive ascolane) 

Wines of Interest: 
-Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is, in no uncertain terms, the headliner for this Italian region, it has a delicate yet enticing nose, an intense flavor and is a real “returner” (returner meaning you will go back to this wine many times as it is just so good that it may become one of your favorite “go-to” wines).  Its best served with fish as in many circles is considered one of the best fish & wine pairing choices.  We suggest it paired with Frutti di Mare (or a fresh mixed fish sauce, stew, soup or appetizer, white or tomato based).

-Rosso Conero is an ancient wine (said to be a favorite of the Romans) which is comprised of both Montepulciano and may contain up to 15% Sangiovese. It is an excellent red wine, which is best paired with roasted meats, open fire spits, barbecued meats, stews, and rich foods of elaborate preparation as well as spicy foods. Rosso Conero has a clear, bright, garnet ruby red color, a nose of fruit, berry, leather and spice, with flavors that carry forward from the nose along with a full body, smooth, almost fluffy, precise balance and a just right finish. Other wines worth mentioning include Offida rosso, Offida Peccorino, Offida Passerina, and Terreni di San Severino.

Areas of Le Marche, Italy and travel notes:
Portonovo, a town in the region of Ancona, Le Marche, Italia, is a tiny resort town
on the rise. Long before outsiders began to discover its history, food, wine and overall beauty this small sea side village had been a well kept secret among a small, largely local following. A couple of highlights of the area include amazing white wines, peerless fish dishes, absolutely stunning beaches, shopping and did we mention the beach? When visiting you may want to check out the Hotel Fortino Napoleonico located on the “Riviera del Conero”; the facility is absolutely stunning, and every detail is completed with meticulous thought and execution. The expansive property is a converted Military fortress erected in the early 1800’s, and happens to sit on one of the most breathtaking locations in all the world.

Food and wine are of high importance in Italy and Le Marche is no exception to this rule as there are many specialty foods, dishes, desserts, wine, spirits and meals that are essential components to the entire experience. If you are thinking of what wine to try while in Portonovo your quest should begin with Verdicchio. The grape is said to be one of the most intriguing grape varietals in the entire world and is responsible for the lion’s share of wine made within this region. An amazing statistic and a real indication of the excellence of this one particular wine is the fact that of all the DOC wine purchased within the Le Marche zone, more than  50% is Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. If popularity is any indication of quality then we have a winner.

The combination of dry maritime climate along with the somewhat fertile soil with high levels of limestone, the Monte Conero nearby hills and mountains and other agreeable variables make for excellent wine growing conditions. The region has seen a rebirth if not rededication to the art of winemaking over recent history with a concentrated effort on quality; not that there was an absence of quality before, it is merely that now there are many quality producers while before there were few.  A couple of other compelling reasons to visit include being amongst the leader in Italy for “Blue Flag” beaches (Blue Flag beaches are a designation or (Eco-Label) of high quality, clean, clear beaches. This world standard is highly critical and offers some assurance of the highest quality.

Pairing notes:

We suggest pairing the aforementioned Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi with fish dishes (provided it is fresh fish, prepared in an Italian style). Other wine and food pairing ideas would include herb roasted Porchetta with either Rosso Piceno, Rosso Conero, or Offida Rosso. Additionally we suggest antipasti with fresh fruit, Pecorino, and (the following pork based salami’s) Salame di Fabriano and Ciauscolo paired with Verdicchio di Matelica, or Esino Bianco (white) and Rosso Piceno Superiore, or Rosso Conero (red).

Provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, Pesaro.
Capital: Ancona
Population: 1.5 Million
-Vineyard acreage: 48, 956
-Wine Production: 42,509,780 Gallons – 62%White, 38% Red, DOC Wine: 24.5%

White wine (vino Bianco) – Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Biancame, Maceratino.
Red wine (Vino Rosso) – Lacrima, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot.

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