Saturday, 25 August 2012

Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

Le Marche has many lovely white and red wines such as the Rosso Conero and Verdicchio but it also has a less well known sparkling wine, Vernaccia di Serrapetrona which was the first DOCG wine in the region.
Vernaccia is a white wine grape that is found in many Italian wines and it is thought that the vine has many clonal varieties such as the grapes used in the Tuscan wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
The Marche wine is only produced in very small quantities and is among the most limited wine productions in Italy. It comes from a very small district in the Le Marche region from which the wine takes its name and it is normally a produced as a Spumante, obtained by natural fermentation and unfiltered.

The Vernaccia vineyards are located in the district of Serrapetrona, in the province of Macerata and also close the the city of Macerata itself.
At present there are less than fifty growers and they cultivate less than fifty hectares and only four of these producers bottle this wine in the sparkling version. the wine is made using three fermantations and normally 50% is made from air dried or Passito grapes which are air dried up to ninety days, then crushed and fermented for another thirty days. The two wines are then blended together and a third fermentation begins which lasts for a period of seven months, this is done in stainless steel tanks using the Charmat method.
the DOCG guidelines require that a minimum of 85% Vernaccia di Serrapetrona grapes are used from which a minimum should be 35% of the Passito grape.

The wine is ruby red in colour with a fine sparkle, with a sweet and delicate fragrance and a slight bitter background taste. It is normally 11.5% by alcohol and is used as a dessert wine in Marche but also makes a refreshing drink on hot summer days!!
As there is very little of this wine produced it is noramally very hard to source outside of the Marche region but Vinitours  hopes to work closely with the association of Verncaccia producers to bring clients in the UK and the rest of Europe access to this undiscovered gem.