DOCGs

5 DOCGs of the Marche

 Offida

Offida first gained DOC status in 2001. It is named for the beautiful city found in the Ascoli Piceno province, an important and lively urban center in the southern Marche. The city itself dates back to the Stone Age!

After 10 years as a DOC, Offida was elevated to DOCG status in 2011, becoming the newest DOCG of the region. The Terre di Offida DOC was also created at this time for the Spumante and Passito wines of the Passerina grape.

The flagship of the Offida DOCG is the Offida Pecorino – you can find out more about this peculiar indigenous grape here. A wine that shows intense character, it has distinctive properties that lead the Marchigiani to call it “the red that dresses as a white”- full bodied, big aromas, high acidity and residual sugars that need an alcohol level above 13% to truthfully show off its unique qualities. The resulting wine is surprisingly durable, with ageability that can see it go 10+ years in the bottle.

Whites

Offida Pecorino

  • Min 85% Pecorino
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min. 12% alc

Offida Passerina

  • Min 85% Passerina
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min. 11.5% alc

Reds

Offida Rosso 

  • 24 months of aging, at least 12 months in barrel
  • Min 85% Montepulciano
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown red grapes, typically Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Min. 13% alc

Notable Producers- PS Winery, Dianetti, Cantina dei Colli Ripani

Conero

In the area of the Parco Regionale del Conero, sitting beneath the limestone-filled Monte Conero, the Conero DOCG can be found on just 350 hectares (≈865 acres) of planted vines. It is regarded as one of the most important denominations of the region, and produces a deep, majestic red wine that represents the deep-rooted traditions of the Ancona Province.

The original DOC, Rosso Conero, was enacted in 1967, in the same area. In 2004, the Riserva edition of the wine was promoted to the DOCG status, further elevating the Marche region’s notability. The primary varietal is Montepulciano, the bold red grape indigenous to the region, at a minimum of 85%. The other allowed 15% is the light-skinned Sangiovese. The DOCG requires at least 2 years of aging before release, resulting in a large-caliber wine that can rest more many years to come.

Reds

Conero DOCG

  • Min. 85% Montepulciano
  • Max 15% Sangiovese
  • Min. 12.5% alc
  • Aged at least 2 years from Nov 1 of vintage year
  • Yields per hectare may not exceed 9 tons

Notable Producers- Angeli di Varano, Piantate Lunghe

Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva

While Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is in close proximity to the sea, and thus has a great influence from the Adriatic, Verdicchio di Matelica is much further inland, landlocked and sitting on an ancient salt lake bed. Dried up since the Paleolithic era, the lake bed is enriched with potassium and calcium deposits, lending a crisp minerality to the grape.

Verdicchio in general is a grape of high acid, giving it good aging potential. These wines need time to evolve in the tanks, and require 18 months of aging before release. Whereas the Matelica DOC is meant to be drunk on the younger side, the Matelica Riserva DOCG is a vibrant wine that gains complexity with its aging, becoming a layered version of it’s younger self. In the best vintages, Matelica Riserva wines can age as much as 20 years!

Whites

Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva DOCG

  • Aged at least 18 months from December 1st of vintage year
  • Min. 85% Verdicchio
  • Max 15% Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min 12.5% alc

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva

Whites

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva DOCG

  • Aged at least 18 months, min. 6 months in bottle from 1st Dec of vintage year
  • Min. 85% Verdicchio
  • Max 15% Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min. 12.5% alc

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva Classico DOCG

Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

There are a number of red sparkling wines coming out of Italy, a unique beverage in itself. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona stands out among these as the only red sparkling wine with DOCG status. The style dates back to the 15th century, and is produced nowhere else in Italy.

It’s not only unique for its DOCG status, but as well for its fermentation techniques. The wine goes through 3 fermentation processes before it can be called Vernaccia di Serrapetrona! These processes make it almost like a hybrid of Lambrusco and Amarone di Valpollicella. The first occurs immediately after the grapes are hand-harvested, the raw must going through carbonic maceration and then a traditional fermentation.

The second occurs in a selection of grapes that have been set aside to hang-dry on racks until January. This fermentation occurs naturally within the uncrushed, drying grapes, which are then crushed and added into the first batch.

Finally, this mixture is transferred into autoclaves, or pressurized tanks, to undergo the third and final fermentation in the Charmat method. Sugar and yeast are added to get it started, and the CO2 produced is left within the wine. After 2 months, it will have reached the state of spumante and can be called Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.

Red Spumantes

Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG

  • Min. 85% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 15% Macerata Province-grown red grapes
  • 11.5% alc

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