Saturday, September 4, 2021

Querciantica Verdicchio - A Gem from La Marche's Self-Made Wineamaker Angela Piotti Velenosi #ItalianFWT


Querciantica Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi: structured, weighty, long finish
Floral scents from honey, apple, peach and freshly cut grass on the nose,
citrusy, fresh, fruity, vegetal on the palate, (SRP$17)

For September’s #ItalianFWT, wine bloggers are invited by Marcia Hamm from Joy of Wine to explore Verdicchio. The tasting of Querciantica Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico, a sample from Le Marche's Velenosi Vini, provides me the opportunity to sip one of the most structured and best-bang-for-the-buck Italian white wines in my recent memory. While the Querciantica Verdicchio is intriguing taste-wise, the producer of this wine, Angela Piotti Velenosi's journey to become one of the leading wine women in Le Marche is equally engaging and inspirational. 
The Velenosi Mother (Angela - Right) and Daughter (Marianna) Duo continue to make their mark in Le Marche wines (Photo Credit: Velenosi Vini)

Velenosi Vini - 100% Self-Made Wine Entrepreneur Since 1987

Unlike some of the Italian winery stories we are often told...when children who were born into the winery business passing down from their parents and ancestors, Angela and Ercole Velenosi - the wife and husband duo went down the winery path with no passed-down ancestral wisdom, no knowledge, no capital, or no land. However, what they had back in 1987 was sheer enthusiasm, energy, passion, and willingness to trial and error, building their dream from scratch...a family house on a 23-acre vineyard, a couple pieces of used equipment, and an unsure plan to make two wines as their pilot. Today, Velenosi Vini is the second largest family-owned winery in Le Marche, expanding to owning 363 acres of vineyards, producing 2.5 million bottles of wines annually, and offering one of the most diverse grape profolio of the region. As a famous quote from Angela, “Wine is an art capable of making you dream”, Velenosi Vini definitely is living this dream after their determination to make matter what...37 years ago. Angela becomes one of the leading female winery producers in Le Marche and was selected as the testimonial to represent the region in the Milan wine expo back in 2015. Velenosi Vini is named the top 100 wineries in Italy by Wine Spectator and is proud to offer wines that have the best quality and price ratio.
Photo CreditL Wine Folly

Le March, Where Verdicchio Shines

The Marche region is known for growing Verdicchio, an Italian indigenous grape. Verdicchio, which presence could date back to the medieval time, is especially adaptable in the areas of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica.Verdicchio from Castelli di Jesi, is grown in a large area, stretching from the hills at the west of Ancona, along the long Esimo river passing Jesi Arcevia Arcevia, and down to the Musone river. The soils are linestones in general, ranging from sandstones to clay with compositions that are different from one area to another. The altitudes of the vineyards start from 260 feet to 1480 meters, which provide the cool mountain air and still allow the winds from the east-front Adriatic sea bringing in the moisture. Verdicchio di Matelica, however, is farther from the east coast and is grown in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains which is at a higher elevation than the area in Castelli di Jesi. Verdicchio di Matelica is often a bit weightier on the palate, and has more acidity and minerality than the one from Castelli di Jesi.

(Photo Credit: DiWine Taste)

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC

Verdicchio is quite susceptible to mildew and other illnesses and only grows well on exposed and breezy hills. It ripens in Castelli di Jesi regularly between September and the beginning of October. Through altering the timing of harvesting the grapes, a wide range of expressions of the wine can be achieved. If it is harvested in advance, greener grapes will give birth to a spumanti-style Verdicchio which captivates fresher citrus sensations. When it's harvested right at its ripeness, the fruity sensations offer the expected and traditional profile of this wine. Verdicchio is also suitable for late harvest, where hints of candied fruit and aromatic herbs would be present deriving partially from the dried grapes. Verdicchio can be fermented in steel tanks, but also tolerates aging in wooden barrels. Its versatility and cellaring ability earns this grape a nickname, the "Barolo" (i.e., the King) of Italian white wines. 

Verdicchio Grape (Photo Credit: Velenosi Vini)

Food Pairings 

The food pairing choice for Querciantica Verdicchio is limitless. While I think braised or stewed red meat dishes or a grilled T-bone steak may be a bit too much, the structure and weight of this wine, even it is white, can handle stir-fried meat dishes and deep-fried poultries like sweet and sour chicken nuggets. Since it's also fresh and lemony, any seafood will go too. What I found pairing exceptionally well with this wine is carb...a side of buttery rice pilaf, stir-fried flat rice  noodle with thinly sliced beef, or chicken lo mein. My conclusion for this Verdicchio is: When you see it, stock up as many as you can drink if all year long!
Top Left: Sweet and Sour Chicken Fingers, Grilled Shrimp with Buttery Rice Pilaf
Bottom Left: Stir-fried Flat Rice Noodle with Beef, Chicken Lo Mein

*The wine is a sample. The ideas of the blog are my own.

Check out which Verdicchio other #ItalianFWT bloggers is sipping...


  1. I was thinking that I would love to do a side by side with the two regions, but after reading this, I think I would love to do a side by side with the different styles. How fascinating to look at these wines, with grapes picked at different stages of ripeness, or with different amounts of many variations!

    1. Totally agreed. A compare across early harvest vs traditional harvest vs late harvest would be fun!

  2. I love a good wine story about at a trail-blazing woman! And I love the pairing ideas here as well -- I can totally see this with one of the stir-fry dishes you mentioned.

  3. MMM Pinny Your dishes, as always look super tasty! I'm not super familiar with this producer so I'm going to see if I can even get it here.