“The little town of Matelica is in the Marche region, just east of Umbria. This region produces fine, minerally wine from the Verdicchio grape. It is also grown (with rather different results) around the town of Jesi, nearer Ancona and the Adriatic. Acid is a word that is mostly avoided when writing about wine (seems to scare off the consumer – ES), but the acidity of this wine is what makes it so lively and distinctive, and so good with food.”
Fabio Marchionni took over the family vineyards from his father a few years ago, having just graduated from the new enology school in Ancona and done his apprenticeship in Germany. He keeps yields extremely low, less than forty hectoliters per hectare (about 2.5 tons per acre), and makes wine with painstaking care. You could eat off the floor of the winery (and hygiene is very important when making this kind of white wine).
“Fabio makes less than four thousand cases of Verdicchio, which he used to bottle, cork and label by hand in his tiny cantina (now he’s sprung for a bottling machine). The romance isn’t the point, though; the point is that this wine is racy, vivid, and excellent with all kinds of seafood dishes. It is fermented and matured entirely in stainless steel (no oak) and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Use it like you might use a Sauvignon Blanc, because Verdicchio has some of the same herbal aroma and flavor as Sauvignon. It is a great aperitif, too, with olives and toasted almonds. I drink a lot of this wine.” – Importer Oliver McCrum