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Region: Marche

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC(G)

Marche’s most famous white wine, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, is grown in a vast area stretching from the west-facing hills West of Ancona, the long Esimo river past Jesi Arcevia, down to the Musone river. The zone extends South to Matelica.

Verdichhio is grown and produced from the grape bearing the same name, with the permitted addition of up to 15% Trebbiano Toscana or Malvasia. The wine is well known to many Italian travelers thanks to the amphora-shaped bottle, which, however, should be avoided.

The legend says that Verdicchio built its reputation back in the fourth century BC, when the Visigoth king, Alaric, encouraged his troops with white wine before crossing the Apennines to conquer the Romans. More reliable records indicate, however, the 14th century as the point of origin of the wine, after feudal principalities were reunited under the Holy Eastern Roman Empire.

Among those who have also mentioned the wine is the Tuscan 16th century poet, Pietro Aretino (1492-1556). Despite his reputation as notoriously critical of everything on this earth, he had only warm and praiseworthy words to say about Verdicchio's dietical and tasteful virtues.

The main city of Jesi and the indefinite plural nouns "castelli", as the wine takes its name, refers to the fact that the city originally consisted of several connected castles, of which only the ruins of Castelbellino, Castelplanio, Maiolati, Monte Roberto and Cupramontana exist today. The latter was a city that grew up around a temple built in honor of the goddess Cupra, goddess of wealth and abundance. The temple was restored in 217 CE by Roman Emperor Hadrian. In the temple, people performed reconciliation rituals, for which they also drank a wine that is probably the ancestor of today's Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.

One of the reasons for the great success of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is due to the producer Fazi-Battaglia's clever "invention", the aforementioned amphora bottle, where they attached a small scroll, a 'carloglio', around the bottleneck. Soon, this bottle would compete with the Tuscan Chianti bast bottles on tables and ceilings in any Italian restaurant worldwide. Of course, this type of restaurant was also "originally" decorated with red-chequered tablecloths and fishing nets in the ceilings. The contents of the bottles were quickly forgotten, but at least the bottle was remembered. Clever marketing, indeed.

Nevertheless, sales dropped in the late 1970's, and something had to be done. Instead of working on large sales campaigns, the producers focused on improving the contents of the bottle, its quality. One of the pioneers was the aforementioned producer Fazi-Battaglia, the inventor of the amphora-shaped bottle. This winery is still very large but today it's because of the quality.

Besides the dry wines, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC(G) produce a dessert wine and a sparkling wine.

Read more about the wines from Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC(G) by clicking i the top menu in the right side.

Did you know?

Italy extends over 10 latitudes – from continental climate to subtropical climate?