Verdicchio's long history and new wave

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Verdicchio is one of the world's great white wines and one of its least known, despite being one of its oldest known varieties with history of winemaking dating back to the 14th century. It is also our wine of the week, so we thought it timely to dive down into the origins of this great white.

The Verdicchio grape comes from Italy and its name comes from the Latin word viridis, which means green and refers to the green skins of the Verdicchio grape. Its home is the Marche region in Central Italy where there are currently about 2,000 hectares of Verdicchio growing, mostly around the town of Jesi, where the designated wine region (DOC) is called Castelli di Jesi. Most of the vines are on the slopes of the Appenine mountains with the highest vineyard planted 1,312 feet but the majority vines are grown on flatter, undulating terrain. The soils range from limestone to clay to sandy, despite the variable nature of which, Verdicchio is almost universally a high quality wine, even at lower prices.

There is a smaller area of Verdicchio grown at higher elevation and called Verdicchio di Matelica, but this hilly DO has only about 200 hectares planted. 

The Verdicchio grape has naturally high acidity, which gives it the ability to taste fresh when young, to age well and to be made as a sparkling wine or, as the majority are, as full bodied still dry whites.

Traditional winemaking of Verdicchio included skin fermentation to build fullness and body as well as flavour, but the majority of wines made from the grape today are fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve freshness.

2021 Umani Ronchi Verdicchio Casal di Serra RRP $31.99 / Special $28.99

An excellent example of Verdicchio from one of this grape's top producers, Umani Ronchi. This wine is weighty, richly flavoursome but completely dry and full bodied with a long, zesty lemony finish. A great white for now and for the cellar. 

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