Le Marche is a relatively small region lying at the eastern edge of central Italy. In recent decades it has been frequently overshadowed by neighbouring Abruzzo, Umbria and Tuscany, but to dismiss the region as insignificant is to miss out on a vast lineup of exciting wines.
Le Marche has a growing reputation in Italian wine circles and the trajectory is likely to continue. Renewed enthusiasm for the country’s stable of native grapes has thrust the white Verdicchio variety into the limelight as wine lovers fall for its fresh acidity, trendy mineral character and tendency to give unctuous citrus flavours. Verdicchio, known in the north as Trebbiano di Soave and Turbiana is the principal grape of two of the region’s important appellations - Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and increasingly fashionable Verdicchio di Matelica.
Although many producers choose to bottle and label their estate’s every-day white wines as Marche IGP, there remains a steady belief in promoting micro territories. The wines of DOCG Offida are a prime example, with local winemakers comfortable showcasing eminently trendy grapes such as Pecorino and Passerina in connection with one of Italy’s least well known DOCGs. Elsewhere there is support for other terroirs such as the hills immediately north of the town of Pesaro and close to Macerata.
Produced around the town of Macerata in Le Marche, the Colli Maceratesi DOC is known for the cultivation of the white Maceratino variety. Alongside this there are a number of simple wines produced from both international red varieties as well as the typical grapes of central Italy.