Colli Maceratesi & Serrapetrona

le marche

This month we are focusing on two very interesting if overlooked appellations. Marches is the region of focus and the sub-regions in question are Colli Maceratesi and Serrapetrona. Marches lies in central Italy and is bordered on the East by the Adriatic in the West by the Apennines which constitute the border with Umbria, in the South by Abruzzo and in the North by Emilia-Romagna. The dominant white varietal is Verdicchio while red wine production centers on Sangiovese and Montepulciano.

Colli Maceratesi is a large appellation stretching from the Adriatic to the Umbrian border.Here, the hillsides are influenced by sea breezes as well the cool air moving down from the Apennine peaks. The soil here is sandy with deposits of marine matter. The area around the town of Macerata has a long history of viticulture thus lending its name to the D.O.C. as well as the varietal used in the production of its wines, Maceratino, a clone of Verdicchio. These wines are dry and crisp, and are perfect complements to coastal fish dishes. For those in search of an adventure, an interesting wine is the Mont’Anello, a Colli Maceratesi produced by Boccadigabbia. A blend of 85% Maceratino and 15% Verdicchio, it is partially fermented in barrique and is ideal with lighter fare. However, due to small yields availability is limited thus finding this wine is no small task.

Serrapetrona. In the hills west of Macerata lies the production zone of Serrapetrona. Taking its name either from the Greek word for stone, petrus or from Petronius a Roman noble, the town lends its name to a wine of ancient origin and recent D.O.C.G. status (2004), Vernaccia di Serrapetrona. The D.O.C.G. regulations permit the production of both dry sparkling and sweet sparkling wines made from at least 85% Vernaccia Nera with local varietals blended to comprise the remaining 15%. These wines are made from partially dried grapes, a process utilized to intensify flavor and increase sugar content. Still red wine is also produced in the area under the Serrapetrona D.O.C. Once again the Vernaccia Nera grape is the varietal of focus comprising at least 85% of the blend.

Once again these wines are not the easiest to find but worth it for the truly adventurous wine-geek. Look for wines from Alberto Quacquarini, both sweet and dry versions of the Vernaccia di Serrapetrona. Enjoy these wines if fortune favors you.