Verdicchio is the highest in quality of the Marche’s white vines and has two DOC appellations: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. In both of these it must constitute at least 85 percent of the blend (with Malvasia and Trebbiano), but Verdicchio can also stand on its own. It is a pale, medium-bodied, straw-colored wine with good acidic balance and is also found in the region’s sparkling wines.
The Verdicchio vine is vigorous and moderately productive, but inconsistent. It prefers sandy, alluvial soils over a layer of chalk – rich in marine fossils – that lends complexity. The fruit is delicately scented, high in acidity, and well structured, with moderately high phenolics when the vine is properly sited and well cultivated.
Probably native to Marche in Italy, Verdicchio has been cultivated since the 1300s. It is named for the yellow-green hue of the grapes.