DOCs

15 DOCs of the Marche

Rosso Piceno

A DOC that gained status early on the life of the Italian system, Rosso Piceno became the first DOC of the Ascoli Piceno province in 1968. The name of the wine, the province and the city, are derived from the pre-Roman peoples that settled here in ancient times – the Picenum.


– Italian 101 – Pronunciation

         In Italian, many letters have different sounds than what English speakers are used to. Any word containing ci or ce will have a CH sound, and vice versa a chi or che will have a K sound.


This is a wine that captures the spirit of locality. When traveling in the Marche, one can expect to find the Marchigiani sipping on a Rosso Piceno from their favorite producer, often that of a good friend or family member. In fact, when Wines of Marche founder Jonathan Zeiger was first working as a field hand at the Lavanda Blu lavender farm & agriturismo, the Centanni Rosso Piceno was one of the wines waiting for him after a long day in the sun.

The land itself is ideal for the cultivation of the Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes, which act as a symbol of tradition of great Italian wines that match the farming culture. It’s in this area that we find the esteemed Marche Cattle, bred and raised with respect, prepared as a quality meat that pairs perfectly with Rosso Piceno wines.

Reds

Rosso Piceno DOC

  • 30-50% Sangiovese
  • 35-70% Montepulciano
  • Max. 15% other red grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

Rosso Piceno Novello DOC

  • Min 11% alc

Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC

  • Min 12% alc
  • Production area limited to 13 municipalities in the Ascoli Piceno Province
  • Sees additional oak aging resulting in a richer and more layered wine

Notable Producers – Cantina Centanni, Tenute Rio Maggio, Cantina dei Colli Ripani

Bianchello del Metauro

One of the first DOCs of the Marche, Bianchello was established in 1969. The area covers the valley of the river Metauro in the northern province of the region, Pesaro-Urbino, extending from the Adriatic Coast to the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. There are currently 12 producers who are members of the Bianchello del Metauro group.

The wine is rooted in historical legend, donning the military elephants on the DOC’s logo that were utilized by the Carthaginians. In 207 BC, at the pivotal Battle of the Metaurus, Hasdrubal (brother of the reputable Hannibal) saw defeat at the hands of the Romans, who then were able to expand their territory into this northern stretch of the region and establish themselves as the most dominant force the world had seen.

Whites

Bianchello del Metauro DOC

  • Est. 1969
  • Min. 95% Bianchello
  • Max 5% Malvasia Toscana
  • Min 11.5% alc

Bianchello del Metauro Superiore DOC

  • Min 12.5% alc

White Spumantes

Bianchello del Metauro Spumante DOC

  • Min 11.5% alc

White Passitos

Bianchello del Metauro Passito DOC

  • Min 15% alc

Colli Maceratesi

The Colli Maceratesi DOC covers the entire area of the Macerata Province, as well as the comune of Loreto, in the Ancona Province. It was first recognized in 1975, and literally translates to the Hills of Macerata. This is significant because any wines with this designation must only come from grapes grown on the hills of the province. Valley floors and small plains are excluded, and the hills can reach an altitude no higher than 450 meters (1500 ft).

The Ribona grape is unique to the Marche region, and in fact unique to the Macerata province. In the entire country, it is found exclusively in the hills of Macerata. It originates from ancient times, derived from a Greek varietal in 387 B.C., when Greek peoples living in Sicily fled the tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse and came to settle along the coasts of Ancona and Macerata.

A wine to drink young & fresh, one should expect a pale straw-yellow hue, with green nuances that are testaments to its youth. Often it lends a lively and delicate perfume of distinct green fruits, just on the cusp of maturation. Soft and dry on the palate, with nice minerality, sapid citrus and velvet. Good to offer around 10*C (50*F) any time of the year, optimal in its 2nd year and enjoyable up to age 4.

 Whites

Colli Maceratesi Bianco DOC

  • Min. 70% Maceratino
  • Max 30% Trebbiano Toscano, Verdicchio, Incrocio Bruni 54, Pecorino, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Sauvignon Blanc, Grechetto or Chardonnay
  • Min. Alc 11%

Colli Maceratesi Ribona DOC

  • Min. 85% Maceratino
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min Alc 11%

White Sparklings

Colli Maceratesi Bianco Spumante DOC

  • Min Alc 11%

Colli Maceratesi Ribona Spumante DOC

  • Min Alc 11%

White Passitos

Colli Maceratesi Bianco Passito DOC

  • Min Alc 15.5%
  • Must age for at least 24 months, at least 3 months in oak

Colli Maceratesi Ribona Passito DOC

  • Min Alc 15.5%
  • Must age for at least 24 months, at least 3 months in oak

Reds

Colli Maceratesi Rosso DOC

  • Min. 50% Sangiovese
  • Max 50% Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Ciliegiolo, Lacrima, Merlot, Montepulciano or Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown black grapes
  • Min Alc 11.5%

Colli Maceratesi Novello DOC

  • Min Alc 11%
  • Max 10g/L residual sugars
  • Min 50% of grapes used must go through carbonic maceration

Colli Maceratesi Rosso Riserva DOC

  • Min Alc 12.5%
  • Must age for at least 24 months, at least 3 months in oak

Colli Maceratesi Sangiovese DOC

  • Min. 85% Sangiovese
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown black grapes
  • Min Alc 11.5%

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba

One of the smaller DOCs and likely the most unique of the Marche, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba dates back to before the 12th Century. This is when it was first documented in historical context by Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, while he was besieging Ancona. He had taken the Castle Morro as his main fortification, and was thus introduced to the supple drink.

The production area of the wine is quite small, with about 638 acres of planted vines in total. As with other indigenous Marche varietals, such as Ribona or Bianchello, you will typically only find Lacrima grown in the Marche, and hardly outside of its DOC area. The wine itself has a strong perfume of roses, and shows tart fruits and rose petals on the pallet.

Reds

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC

  • Min. 85% Lacrima
  • Max 15% other Ancona Province-grown black grapes
  • Min 11% alc
  • Production Area 258 hectares (~638 acres)

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba Superiore DOC

  • Min. 85% Lacrima
  • Max 15% other Ancona Province-grown black grapes
  • Min 12% alc

Red Passitos

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba Passito

  • Min. 85% Lacrima
  • Max 15% other Ancona Province-grown black grapes
  • Min 15% alc
  • Min 21% Residual Sugar

Rosso Conero

As with many DOCs of Italy, the Rosso Conero DOC is an expression of the territory from whence it came. Its production area is circumscribed and limited to the Monte Conero, the beautiful state park that is often described as “the elbow of Italy”. This unique feature of the Marche coastline rises as a calcareous-clay mountain, abruptly cutting off the otherwise miles-long beaches between Trieste and Gargano.

With exemplary exposure to sunlight and to the sea-breeze, along with the ideal soil composition, the grapes are ensured to reach full ripeness each year. Oak-aging is not a requirement as with the Conero DOCG; the Rosso Conero DOC often shows a good evolution within the bottle.

Reds

Rosso Conero DOC

  • Min. 85% Montepulciano
  • Max 15% Marche-grown red grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc
  • Max 13 tons per hectare
  • Total Production Area 350 hectares (~865 acres)

Notable Producers – Cantina Angeli di Varano

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

The DOC that put the Marche on the map as a known wine region. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is located around the city of Jesi and the capital Ancona, nearer to the coast than its counterpart Verdicchio di Matelica. A local favorite, it is often drank for aperitivo, pretty much the Italian happy hour.

Whites

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC

  • Min. 85% Verdicchio
  • Max 15% other white grapes
  • Min 10.5% alc
  • Max 14 tons per hectare
  • Total Production Area 2,762 hectares (~6825 acres)

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

  • Min 10.5% alc

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore

  • Min 11.5% alc

White Spumantes

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Spumante

White Passitos

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Passito

  • Min 14% alc
  • 1 year of oak aging

Notable Producers – Vallerosa BonciCantina dei Colli Ripani

Verdicchio di Matelica

A landlocked appellation sitting on an extinct salt lake bed full of soil rich in potassium and calcium. Found further inland than its counterpart Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, this supple white is usually mouth-puckering and dry, with lots of minerality derived from its ancient soils.

Whites

Verdicchio di Matelica DOC

  • Min. 85% Verdicchio
  • Max 15% other white grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

White Spumantes

Verdicchio di Matelica Spumante DOC

  • Min. 85% Verdicchio
  • Max 15% other white grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

White Passitos

Verdicchio di Matelica Passito DOC

  • Min 15% alc
  • 1 year of oak aging

Falerio dei Colli Ascolani

The Falerio dei Colli Ascolani DOC, or simply Falerio, was first established in 1975. The name itself is linked to the history and the coastal culture of the Ascoli Piceno province. It is derived from Faleria, the ancient Roman name for the city that is today called Falerone. According to the locals, no other wine exalts the white and blue fish caught just off the Adriatic coast as much as Falerio.

Whites

Falerio DOC

  • 20-50% Trebbiano Toscano
  • 10-30% Passerina
  • 10-30% Pecorino
  • Max 20% other Ascoli Piceno/Fermo Province-grown white grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

Falerio Pecorino DOC

  • Min. 85% Pecorino
  • Max 15% other Ascoli Piceno/Fermo Province-grown white grapes
  • Min 12% alc

Notable Producers – Cantina Centanni, Tenute Rio Maggio

Terre di Offida

The Terre di Offida DOC was originally part of the Offida DOC that was enacted in 2001. In 2011, when Offida was elevated to DOCG status, Terre di Offida was given its own designation as a DOC of spumante, vin santo and passito wines.

White Spumantes

Terre di Offida Spumante DOC

  • Min. 85% Passerina
  • Max 15% other Ascoli Piceno Province-grown white grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

White Passitos

Terre di Offida Passito DOC

  • Min. 85% Passerina
  • Max 15% other Ascoli Piceno Province-grown white grapes
  • Min 15.5% alc

Colli Pesaresi

The Colli Pesaresi DOC is found in the northern province of the Marche, Pesaro-Urbino, from the foothills around the fortressed city of Urbino, down to the coastal towns of Pesaro and Fano. The style was first created in 1972 and was recognized as a DOC that same year. By far the most extensive of the Marche DOCs, Colli Pesaresi contains 7 main zones and 10 sottozone, or subzones.

 Whites

Colli Pesaresi Bianco DOC

  • Min. 75% Trebbiano Toscano
  • Max 25% other Marche-grown white grapes
  • Min 11.5%

Colli Pesaresi Biancame DOC

  • Min. 85% Biancame
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes

Colli Pesaresi Trebbiano DOC

  • Min. 85% Trebbiano Toscano
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes

Colli Pesaresi Roncaglia Bianco DOC

  • Min. 25% Pinot Nero
  • Max 75% Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco
  • Min 12% alc

Colli Pesaresi Roncaglia Pinot Nero DOC

  • Min. 90% Pinot Nero
  • Max 10% other Marche-grown white grapes

White Spumantes

Colli Pesaresi Spumante DOC

  • Min. 75% Trebbiano Toscano, Verdicchio, Biancame, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Riesling Italico, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and/or Pinot Bianco
  • Max 25% other Marche-grown white grapes

Colli Pesaresi Focara Pinot Nero Spumante DOC

  • Min. 85% Pinot Nero
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes

Colli Pesaresi Roncaglia Pinot Nero Spumante DOC

  • Min. 85% Pinot Nero
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown white grapes

 Reds

Colli Pesaresi Rosso DOC

  • Min. 70% Sangiovese
  • Max 30% other Marche-grown red grapes
  • Min 11.5% alc

Colli Pesaresi Sangiovese DOC

  • Min 85% Sangiovese
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown red grapes

Colli Pesaresi Sangiovese Novello DOC

  • Min 85% Sangiovese
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown red grapes

Colli Pesaresi Sangiovese Riserva DOC

  • Min 85% Sangiovese
  • Max 15% other Marche-grown red grapes
  • Oak-aged 18-24 months

Colli Pesaresi Focara Rosso DOC

  • Min. 50% Pinot Nero, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • Max 50% Sangiovese
  • Max 25% other Marche-grown red grapes
  • Min 12% alc

Colli Pesaresi Focara Rosso Pinot Nero DOC

  • Min. 90% Pinot Nero
  • Max 10% other Marche-grown red grapes

Rosés

Colli Pesaresi Rosato DOC

  • Min. 70% Sangiovese
  • Max 30% other Marche-grown red grapes

Esino

Esino is a relatively young DOC, being first established in 1995. It is found primarily in the Ancona province, with a small bit going into Macerata as well. It is one of the smaller, lesser known DOCs, containing roughly 111 acres of vineyard area. During the harvest, grapes are limited to about 13.2 tons per hectare.

Whites

Esino Bianco DOC

  • Min. 50% Verdicchio
  • Max 50% other white grapes
  • Min 10.5% alc

White Spumantes

Esino Bianco Frizzante DOC

  • Semi-sparkling
  • Min. 50% Verdicchio
  • Max 50% other white grapes
  • Min 9.5% alc

Reds

Esino Rosso DOC

  • Min. 60% Sangiovese and/or Montepulciano
  • Max 40% other red grapes
  • Min 10.5% alc

Esino Rosso Novello DOC

  • Min. 60% Sangiovese and/or Montepulciano
  • Max 40% other red grapes
  • Min 11% alc
  • Max 10g/L Residual Sugar

Red Spumantes

Esino Rosso Frizzante DOC

  • Semi-sparkling
  • Min 9.5% alc

Serrapetrona

As opposed to the sparkling red Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, this DOC is made with the same grapes but in the form of a still red wine.

Reds

Serrapetrona DOC

  • Min. 85% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 15% other black grapes
  • Min 12% alc

I Terreni di Sanseverino

Reds

I Terreni di Sanseverino Rosso DOC

  • Min. 50% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 50% other black grapes
  • Grape production limited to 9 tons/hectare
  • Min 18 months oak aging
  • Min 12% Alc

I Terreni di Sanseverino Rosso Superiore DOC

  • Min. 50% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 50% other black grapes
  • Grape production limited to 8 tons/hectare
  • Minimum 24 months oak aging
  • Min 12.5% Alc

I Terreni di Sanseverino Rosso Passito DOC

  • Min. 50% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 50% other black grapes
  • Grape production limited to 9 tons/hectare
  • Min 24 months oak aging
  • Min 15.5% Alc

I Terreni di Sanseverino Moro DOC

  • Min. 60% Montepulciano
  • Max 40% other black grapes
  • Grape production limited to 9 tons/hectare
  • Min 18 months oak aging
  • Min 12.5% Alc

Pergola

Reds

Pergola Rosso DOC

  • Min. 60% Aleatico
  • Max 60% Marche-grown black grapes

Pergola Aleatico DOC

  • Min. 85% Aleatico
  • Max 15% Marche-grown black grapes

Pergola Aleatico Superiore DOC

Pergola Aleatico Riserva DOC

Red Spumantes

Pergola Aleatico Spumante DOC

Red Passitos

Pergola Aleatico Passito DOC

Rosés

Pergola Rosato DOC

  • Min. 60% Aleatico
  • Max 60% Marche-grown black grapes
  • Option for Frizzante or Spumante

San Ginesio

Reds

San Ginesio Rosso DOC

  • Min. 50% Sangiovese
  • Min 35% Vernaccia Nera, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, or Ciliegiolo
  • Max 15% other black grapes

Red Spumantes

San Ginesio Spumante DOC

  • Min. 85% Vernaccia Nera
  • Max 15% other black grapes

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