Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Verdicchio, one of central Italy’s classic white wines, is produced from the Verdicchio grape in two doc zones of its home territory (since at least the 14th century) of the marche: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, to the west of Ancona and a mere 30 km/20 miles from the Adriatic Sea, and the much smaller Verdicchio di Matelica zone, considerably further inland and at higher elevations, close to the regional border with umbria. The best wines are cool with minerally mandarin fruit, lifted lemony acidity, and a slight chew on the finish. The finest can age ten or more years. Verdicchio di Matelica, with marginally lower yields and better exposed hillside vineyards, was for long supposed to produce fuller, more characterful wine but this is no longer a given, since average yields in Castelli di Jesi have decreased to a sensible 65 hl/ha. Matelica’s 300 ha/750 acres are dwarfed by the 2,762 ha/6,822 acres of the Castelli di Jesi, Marche’s largest doc and one which makes no distinction between vineyards on plains and the hills, with the exception of the much smaller historic Classico zone in the hills near the town of Cupano. Here several small producers produce complex wines, often from single vineyards. Under their initiative a start was made in the early 2010s to identify subzones based on exposition, elevation, and soil composition.