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Marche is a region of contrast, with an enviable Adriatic coastline to the East calling for wines to wash down waves of fresh seafood, and twisting river valleys that extend westward inland towards the foothills of the Apennines – an area that screams for rustic wines that stand up to the countryside’s less-than-delicate larder. From coast to climbing peaks, Marche is shaped by rolling hills, fortified medieval towns and a scattering of castles and monasteries that crown each hilltop. Calcareous, clay and limestone soils create a distinctive terroir that, in combination with the region’s varied climates ensure a breadth of viticultural and vinicultural tradition and style that few wouldn’t be excited by. Cooling influences from the Apennines, the Adriatic Sea and Marche’s nuanced river networks provide cold relief to certain viticultural zones, while other Marche wine producers work with grapes grown in areas of ample warmth and strong South-Easterly sun exposure.

Marche white wines are dominated by the Verdicchio grape, a local variety to which Marche has been home for over 600 years. Its finest examples derive from the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica denominations: green hued, refreshing, subtly herbaceous and brimming with acidity. Tenuta di Tavignano, a family estate consisting of 30 hectares in the heart of Marche, grow Verdicchio organically. A producer dedicated to reducing environmental impact, Ondine de la Feld of Tavignano highlights Verdicchio’s varietal charm with stainless steel ageing for the freshness of juicy peach, pink grapefruit, mint and saffron. Her Pét-Nat echoes the care she takes to celebrate Marche wines. Others have begun to follow – lookout for the likes of the ‘resurrected’ Pecorino grape in ageable Marche white wines, Pinot Bianco, Malvasia and Toscana. Marche red wines provide equal energy, with plantings dedicated to Montepulciano (nothing to do with Tuscany’s Montepulciano region!) for Conero DOC and Sangiovese for Rosso Piceno DOC.

The ‘calf’ of Italy, Marche derives strength and variety from its heritage, landscape and people.

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