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Marche Native Vines – First Part
Rosa D'Ancona – May 1, 2006



Introduction

 
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The roots of viticulture in the Marche region of Italy are more than just ancient. In fact, fossil remains of vitis vinifera dating back to the Iron Age have been found in archeological digs in the province of Ascoli Piceno. Furthermore, the fame of local wines is celebrated in ancient documents.

In Roman times, the 'Vino Piceno' (Wine from the Piceno area) was well known throughout the empire and the white Verdicchio wine was already fairly appreciated. Fast forward a few centuries to the end of the 6th century to read about the superior quality of the wines from Marche when compared with the "weak, fat and watery" ones produced in other part of the Italian peninsula. The book is De Naturalis Vinorum Historia (The Natural History of Wine), by the Marche native author, Andrea Bacci, from St. Elpidio by-the-Sea.

Since then, however, the regional vitiviniculture has undergone truly profound changes.

Starting in the 1970s, serious action was taken to try to revive the local wine sector which, at the time, appeared to have almost completely disappeared and lost touch with the mutated social and technological reality of the country. At the same time though, the institution of the first Italian DOC appellations progressively generated the dismissal of many native vines which used to enrich the various regional blends.

In more recent years action has been taken to reverse the trend of annihilating valuable native vine varieties, many of which are believed to consistently improve the production of the traditional wines, thus protecting the typicality of the regional wines. The Assam (Agenzia Servizi Settore Agroalimentare delle Marche, or Marche's Agricultural Sector services Agency), assisted technologically by the Facoltà di Agraria dell'Università degli Studi di Ancona (Agricultural School of the Ancona University), started to research and conserve local vines, identifying the morphologic, genetic and technological characteristics. As a result of the study, conducted alongside research on the adaptability of international vines to the local environment, some of the ancient native varieties have acquired full commercial recognition.

All together, there are currently 41 vine varieties classified as suitable for cultivation in the Marche region(Reg. CE 2548/1999, DM 11/10/99, Reg. CE n. 1227/2000. Deliberazione della Giunta regionale  Marche [Deliberation by the Marche Regional Administration] n. 1719 del 09/12/2003. – "Iscrizione delle varietà di vite per la produzione di vino nell'Elenco regionale" ["Registration of the Vine Varieties Suitable for Wine Production in the Regional Registry"]).

  Marche
 
Since the various variety cultivations overlap, we have created two
separate maps. Please point your mouse here to see the second map.

The lists of Marche native and ancient vines with strong territorial links currently registered include seven varieties:

  • Lacrima (red)
  • Vernaccia Nera (red)
  • Pecorino (white)
  • Passerina (white)
  • Verdicchio (white)
  • Maceratino (white)
  • Biancame (white)

In addition, there are five varieties which, though they are widespread in central Italy, have long since been cultivated in the regional wine zones and are widely used in many Marche DOC wines. These varieties are:

  • Trebbiano Toscano (white)
  • Malvasia Bianca di Candia (white)
  • Malvasia Bianca Lunga (white)
  • Sangiovese (red)
  • Montepulciano (red)
  • Aleatico (red)

The regional extension of the vineyards is around 23,000 hectares (about 26,835 acres), 48% of which are vines registered for the production of DOC wines. The Marche region produces one DOCG, 11 DOCs and one IGT wines.

The province with thge most vineyards is Ascoli Piceno, however in the provinces of Ancona and Macerata the Verdicchio grape, which has long accounted for the best known and most commercially valuable wine in the region is coltivated.

DOC and DOCG wines made with the main native vines

NATIVE GRAPES DOC WINES
DOCG WINES
Biancame
  • Bianchello del Metauro
  • Colli Pesaresi
Lacrima
  • Lacrima di Morro
Maceratino
  • Colli Maceratesi
Montepulciano
  • Colli Maceratesi
  • Esino
  • Offida
  • Rosso Conero
  • Rosso Piceno
Passerina
  • Falerio dei Colli Ascolani
  • Offida
Pecorino
  • Colli Maceratesi
  • Falerio dei Colli Ascolani
  • Offida
Verdicchio
  • Colli Maceratesi
  • Colli Pesaresi
  • Esino
  • Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
  • Verdicchio di Matelica
Vernaccia Nera
  • Colli Maceratesi
  • Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

Marche IGT Wines

IGT WINES

NATIVE GRAPES

Marche

  • Grechetto
  • Passerina
  • Sangiovese
  • Trebbiano

 
 
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