MOUNTAIN WINES FROM MATELICA
The place to find the best Verdicchio in the world is in the mountains of Le Marche on the eastern coast of Italy. Most of the Verdicchio that comes to Canada comes from the famous area of Castelli di Jesi. The wines there are good, but, when you visit you will be surprised to see that this is a fertile valley with flat plains below the foothills of the mountains.
Not necessarily prime territory for top-quality white wines. So, take the mountain road (the SS76 to be exact) and keep driving up into the mountains. And then drive some more. Drive up close to where the peaks are still covered in snow. There, at 420 metres above sea level, you will find ColleStefano. There you will find Verdicchio.
ColleStefano is in Matelica – a small appellation near the mountain town of Castelraimondo on the border with Umbria. It is a family affair that has been making wine from organic grapes since 1995. Fabio Marchionni is in charge and he is strict in his application of organic techniques.
They use no chemicals in the vineyards, use cover crops to aerate the soil, and have a general natural approach to farming. The grapes are hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, and then fermented at low temperatures on the lees. The best part is that the family has kept prices low on purpose so that everyone can enjoy their wines.