Verdicchio: Italy’s Understated Gem

Immerse yourself in the enticing world of Verdicchio, a white grape variety hailing from Italy that is cherished for its high acidity, complex flavour profiles, and aging potential. While often under the radar in the international wine scene, Verdicchio offers a unique and rewarding journey for the adventurous wine enthusiast.

A Brief History

Verdicchio is native to Italy’s Marche region, with documented cultivation dating back to the 14th century, though it may have been grown for several centuries prior. The name ‘Verdicchio’ stems from ‘verde’ (green), alluding to the yellow-green hue of the mature grapes. The grape is primarily associated with the DOC wines Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica.


Verdicchio grapes tend to produce wines with high acidity and a distinct almond character. The grape’s natural structure and balance lend itself well to a variety of winemaking techniques, including aging on lees and in oak, creating wines with depth and complexity. The wines are often medium-bodied and can be still, sparkling, or even made into dessert wines.

Flavour Profile

The flavour profile of Verdicchio is characteristically fresh and bright, with notes of green apple, citrus, and a distinct almond finish. Some wines can also display nuances of honey, flint, and a saline minerality that adds an extra dimension to its complexity. With age, the wines can develop intriguing flavours of dried fruit and honey.

Different Styles of Wine

Verdicchio wines range from crisp, youthful styles to more full-bodied and complex examples that have undergone lees aging or barrel fermentation. It also makes excellent sparkling wines, both in the traditional method with second fermentation in the bottle and the Charmat or tank method. Passito-style sweet wines are also produced, made from partially dried grapes.

Wine Making and Maturation Options

Winemaking for Verdicchio varies significantly depending on the desired style. Stainless steel fermentation at cool temperatures is common for preserving freshness in younger styles. For more complex and age-worthy examples, winemakers may use techniques like lees aging, malolactic fermentation, and oak aging. These practices enhance the texture, complexity, and aging potential of the wine.

Important Regions

Verdicchio is most famously grown in the Marche region of central Italy, specifically within the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica DOCs. While both regions produce high-quality Verdicchio wines, Castelli di Jesi tends to produce a lighter, more approachable style, while Matelica’s higher altitude vineyards yield more robust and concentrated wines.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Thanks to its high acidity and complex flavour profile, Verdicchio pairs excellently with a range of foods. It is particularly suited to seafood dishes, like grilled fish or shrimp scampi. It also pairs well with chicken, pork, and dishes with cream sauces. Its almond note and refreshing acidity can also complement dishes with green vegetables or herbs.

Exploring Verdicchio unveils an underappreciated side of Italian viticulture, revealing wines that are complex, versatile, and rich in history.

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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