Name: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Sub-Region: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
The vines of the extremely ancient Verdicchio variety, which originated in the region, cover the hills that flank the river Esino. And it is believed that the cultivation of vines in the Marches began in that same area.
At the center of that historic grape-growing district, known as the Castelli di Jesi, stands the community that has given its name to the wine, the ancient Aesis, a Roman colony although probably of Umbrian origin. The history of that town, Jesi, is intertwined with that of its Castelli, of which there remain only the ruins: Castelbellino, Castelplanio, Maiolati, Monte Roberto and Cupramontana.
The reputation of Verdicchio spread from the Roman lands to the barbarians beyond the Alps, who invaded and brought down the empire in the West. When in 410, Alaric, king of the Visigoths, was passing through the Marches on his way to besiege and sack Rome, he reportedly ordered that 40 mules be loaded with barrels of Verdicchio to take along with him because he held that the wine was excellent for maintaining and stimulating the strength of his soldiers.
Verdicchio has been praised in poetry innumerable times over the centuries. Among those who have lauded the wine was the noted 16th century Tuscan poet Pietro Aretino. Despite his reputation as a denigrator of everything and everyone, he had nothing but warm words for the wine's dietetic and gustatory virtues.
Today, the worldwide reputation of Verdicchio, the leading DOC wine of the Marches in terms of quantity, has been further enhanced in respect to prestige and sales by the introduction in Italy and abroad of a new sparkling wine that some estates are now producing, utilizing both the Charmat and the Champenois methods.