Monastero di Favari lies on the Vie dell Verdicchio, the route of the region’s celebrated white grape, Verdicchio.
Wine alone could provide an excellent motive for visiting Le Marche and winemaking in the region has been enjoying its own little renaissance over the last few decades, with a move away from quantity towards quality.
Le Marche used to be produce a large volume of basic plonk for the masses, but now is gaining in reputation for its outstanding “vini da meditazione”, wines so good that they should be drunk with religious respect. These top class wines are not cheap and the price won’t differ much from what you would pay back home, but as well as these there are many excellent local wines you can drink a refreshingly low prices.
There are many fantastic wineries to visit in the surrounding area and cellar door tastings can be easily organised. For a great educational day out and the chance to visit a number of wineries and have a gastronomic lunch included showcasing local Marchigiani cuisine, contact the very charming and knowledgeable Marco via his website Marco’s Way. See www.marcosway.it
Le Marche’s pride and joy is Verdicchio made from the indigenous grape variety of the same name. The names is derived from it’s green-tinged hue and it combines a glorious fresh and vibrant citrus palate with a distinctive finish of bitter almonds and is the perfect match with the region’s Adriatic fish dishes. It is among Italy’s best-known dry whites, and can now be found on many an international wine list in UK gastro pubs and restaurants. Look out for the two DOC versions – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. The Riserva versions reveal more stone fruit and honeyed characteristics and have now been given the elite DOCG category. The other Marche DOC whites include Bianchello del Metauro and Colli Pesaresi Bianco from the north, Esino Bianco and Colli Maceratesi from the central Marche, and Falerio, and Offida Passerina and Pecorino from the south of the region near Ascoli Piceno. The latter is among Italy’s up and coming grape varieties and gaining rightful recognition internationally. Not to be confused with the cheese, Pecorino derives its name from the sheep (le pecore) roaming the hills where is it is grown, and expresses a beautifully aromatic palate of floral, stone fruit and honey hints – a great match with Pecorino cheese, richer fish dishes and poultry. One to watch for the future!
Whilst Le Marche is known world-wide for its white wine, the region also makes some some outstanding reds. Around the Conero peninsula, Rosso Conero, made from the Montepulciano grape, is a rich, full fruited, perfumed wine that often reaches greatness – the riserva version now boasts the coveted DOCG description on its label. Rosso Piceno, and the even better Rosso Piceno Superiore from the south near Ascoli Piceno, is a powerful but elegant blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes. A red sparkling oddity of the region is Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, normally a sweet dessert wine but also available in a drier secco version; this is Le Marche’s other DOCG red wine. Other Marche DOC reds include Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi around Pesaro, Vernaccia di Pergola in Pesaro e Urbino province, and Colli Maceratesi Rosso from around Macerata. Grown in the central Marche region and within a short drive of the house is Esino Rosso and the delicious intensely violet and Turkish delight-scented Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. The latter is a great example of the unique and fascinating character of the Marche’s indigenous grape varieties, many of which are gaining plaudits and popularity overseas.