Jesi sits inland from the city of Ancona on the floodplains of the Esino River. While its geographic positioning does not lend its land well to viticulture, its name is nevertheless closely associated with wine.
The DOC Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is a white wine made from verdicchio grapes grown on the slopes below the hilltop castletowns surrounding Jesi. There are about fifteen “Castelli di Jesi” that lie to the north, west and southwest of the city of Jesi. Among these Montecarotto, Staffolo, and Morro d’Alba figure prominently.
Verdicchio is a varietal tht has improved vastly in the past ten to fifteen years. It has always been a reluctant grape to ripen and suffered in the aftermath of the “mezzadria” system of sharecropping when most winemaking was done by large “cantine sociali” or negociant bottlers. In more recent years throughout the Marche region small, family-owned wineries have become more common and work and attention to detail in the vineyard has thus increased. Increased vine density and reduced yield have resulted in wines of greater concentration and depth.
The Castelli di Jesi region is typified by rivers and streams that flow from the Apennine mountains into the Adriatic Sea creating valleys where the warm daytime breezes mingle with cooler nightime mountain airs, encouraging both the developement of sugars and acidity in the grape.
I profess that I am a great lover of Verdiccghio wines. I have had many different styles from still to sparkling to sweet and am convinced of the tremendous potential of the varietal. Aside from the many styles of wine this grape is capable of, harvest time, fermentation and aging, ripeness at harvest, soil and more will influence the profile of flavors that can come from this varietal. It can range from light, bright, citrus and herbal to intense nutty and full-bodied.
We have many producers that we are fond of at Babbo. They include Umani Ronchi, Villa Bucci, Moncaro and Pievalta, but there are many more than just those.There is also an interesting red wine from one of these hilltop towns.
Lacrima means “tear (drop)” in Italian, but in the town of Morro d’Alba theword also refers to a kind of grape named such because berries within the clusters tend to burst making the clusters appear to weep. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is a soft and seductive summer wine. Its lightness and silky texture make it an ideal wine for barbeques and picnics.
The Luciano Landi and Luigi Giusti wineries are the best examples that I know of in our marketplace. Look especially for the Rubbjano bottling from the Giusti winery for something with a bit more richness and depth. Some of these wines can be tricky to find out there, but you can always find
them here at Babbo. Their wide range of styles enables them to pair well with our extensive menu. Stop in to see what I mean!