Marche (Le Marche)

Marche (Le Marche)

43.3° N


13.2° E




about this region

The Marche wine region, located in central Italy along the Adriatic coast, is a picturesque area known for its diverse wine production influenced by both its coastal and inland geography. This region, with a winemaking history that dates back to Roman times, encompasses a variety of climates and terrains, from the Apennine Mountains to the rolling coastal hills, which contribute to the distinct characteristics of its wines.

Marche is particularly celebrated for its white wines, most notably Verdicchio, which is considered one of Italy's finest white grape varieties. Verdicchio wines are prized for their high acidity, complex flavors ranging from citrus to herbal, and excellent aging potential. The region produces two DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) wines from this grape: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica, with the latter often being more full-bodied due to the higher elevation vineyards.

Besides Verdicchio, Marche also produces a range of other wines including Bianchello del Metauro, a light and fresh white, and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba,which are red wines with aromatic qualities unique to the area around Morro d’Alba. Other red wines include robust and age-worthy Montepulciano and Sangiovese wines.

The wine industry in Marche is characterized by its small-scale producers who often focus on traditional methods and sustainable practices. This artisan approach, coupled with the region’s rich cultural heritage and scenic landscapes, makes Marche a notable and distinct wine-producing area within Italy’s extensive viticultural panorama.


No items found.
vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



2800 - 3500

growing degree days

Discover Terroir

The Marche wine region, situated in central Italy, is strategically placed along the eastern Adriatic coast, offering a diverse landscape that significantly influences its viticultural character. Bordered by the Apennine Mountains to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east, Marche benefits from a combination of maritime and continental climates, which are ideal for a variety of grape types.

Geographical Context

Marche is nestled between several other notable Italian wine regions, which helps to contextualize its unique viticultural attributes:

  • North: To the north, Marche is bordered by Emilia-Romagna, another significant wine region known for its rich food and wine culture, including the production of Lambrusco and Sangiovese wines. The proximity to Emilia-Romagna provides a cultural exchange that has historically influenced the agricultural and culinary practices of northern Marche.
  • South: To the south lies Abruzzo, renowned for its robust Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines. The stylistic influences and techniques from Abruzzo occasionally blend with the southern areas of Marche, particularly in the production of Montepulciano-based wines such as Rosso Piceno.
  • West: The western border is defined by the Apennine Mountains, which separate Marche from Umbria, another region celebrated for its white wines, such as Orvieto. These mountains not only act as a climatic barrier but also as a corridor for cultural and viticultural influences, particularly in terms of microclimatic impact on vineyard elevations.
  • East: The eastern boundary is the Adriatic Sea, which moderates the climate, giving the coastal vineyards of Marche a distinctive microclimate that is particularly suited for white grape varieties like Verdicchio and Trebbiano. The maritime influence helps to temper the summer heat and enriches the complexity of the wines produced in this area.

Viticultural Significance

The geographical diversity within Marche, from coastal plains to rolling hills and mountainous terrains, allows for a wide range of grape varieties to flourish. The region's varied topography contributes to the unique terroir of each sub-region, creating distinct differences even among wines produced relatively close together. This diversity is central to Marche's viticultural identity, allowing it to produce both high-quality red and white wines that are increasingly recognized on the international stage.

The combination of geographical influences and neighboring regions plays a crucial role in the development and distinctiveness of Marche's wines, making it a vibrant and dynamic wine-producing area within Italy's extensive wine landscape.

The Marche wine region of Italy, with its diverse geography stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the Apennine Mountains, experiences a variety of microclimates that profoundly influence viticulture across the region. These can be broadly categorized into coastal, hillside, and mountain climates:

Coastal Climate

  • Characteristics: The coastal areas of Marche enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The proximity to the Adriatic Sea moderates temperatures, preventing extreme cold or heat, which is beneficial for grape growing.
  • Impact on Viticulture: This climate is particularly favorable for white grape varieties such as Verdicchio and Bianchello, which thrive on the temperature moderation and moisture provided by sea breezes. These conditions help maintain acidity levels and promote the development of aromatic compounds in the grapes, leading to fresh and vibrant wines.

Hillside Climate

  • Characteristics: Moving inland, the climate shifts as elevation increases. The hillside areas experience slightly greater temperature variations between day and night and between seasons, which can be attributed to the increased elevation and distance from the tempering effects of the sea.
  • Impact on Viticulture: The diurnal temperature variation is crucial for both red and white grape varieties, helping to balance sugar development with acidity in grapes, which is essential for structure and aging potential. Grapes such as Montepulciano and Sangiovese benefit from these conditions, developing more concentrated flavors and color.

Mountain Climate

  • Characteristics: In the areas closest to the Apennine Mountains, the climate becomes more continental with cooler temperatures overall, particularly at higher elevations. These areas experience more pronounced seasonal changes, with colder winters that can sometimes include snowfall, and cooler summers than those found on the coast.
  • Impact on Viticulture: The cooler mountain climate is suitable for grapes that require longer maturation periods under cooler conditions, such as certain clones of Verdicchio and potentially even some international varieties like Pinot Noir. The cool climate helps retain higher levels of acidity and freshness in the wines, which is especially beneficial for sparkling and late-harvest wine styles.


  • Additional Factors: Microclimates created by local geographical features such as valleys, rivers, and exposure to sun also play significant roles in viticulture in Marche. For instance, vineyards situated on south-facing slopes receive more sunlight and are generally warmer, thus influencing the ripening period and the styles of wine that can be successfully produced.

The interplay of these diverse climatic conditions across Marche allows for a wide range of wine styles to be produced, from crisp and aromatic whites along the coast to robust and structured reds in the hillside areas, and even some delicate varieties in the cooler mountain zones. This climatic diversity is a key factor in the complexity and appeal of Marche's wines.

The Marche wine region's diverse soil types play a significant role in shaping the characteristics of its wines. The region can be broadly divided into coastal, hillside, and mountain zones, each featuring distinct soil compositions that influence viticulture differently.

Coastal Zone

  • Soil Characteristics: The coastal areas of Marche typically feature sandy and clayey soils, which are well-draining and retain warmth. These soils are often mixed with silt and loam, creating a fertile ground that is particularly suited to white grape varieties.
  • Impact on Viticulture: The sandy soils help in preventing phylloxera, a vine pest that has historically devastated many European vineyards. These soils also tend to produce wines with more aromatic qualities and a lighter structure, ideal for varieties such as Verdicchio and Bianchello.

Hillside Zone

  • Soil Characteristics: Moving inland to the hillside areas, the soil composition becomes more complex with a significant presence of limestone and clay mixed with marl. These soils are typically less fertile than the coastal plains, which is beneficial as it stresses the vines, leading to the production of more concentrated grapes.
  • Impact on Viticulture: The limestone-rich soils contribute to a higher mineral content in the wines, which is reflected in their crisp acidity and complexity. This soil type is particularly advantageous for grapes such as Sangiovese and Montepulciano, which thrive in these conditions to produce structured and age-worthy wines.

Mountain Zone

  • Soil Characteristics: The soils in the Apennine mountain areas of Marche are predominantly calcareous (chalky) and rocky with significant components of iron and minerals. The higher elevations lead to soils formed from weathered rock and contain less organic material.
  • Impact on Viticulture: These rugged and mineral-rich soils are excellent for high-acidity and mineral-driven wines. The challenging growing conditions stress the vines, resulting in lower yields but potentially higher-quality grapes that are suitable for both white and red varieties that benefit from sharp acidity and mineral notes.

Microclimates and Additional Soil Varieties

  • Varied Influences: In addition to these broader categories, various microclimates throughout Marche feature unique soil compositions, such as volcanic soils in some isolated areas which can add distinctive flavors and characteristics to the wines. Vineyards located near rivers may have more alluvial soils, which are typically fertile and good for vigorous vine growth.

The varied soil landscape of Marche contributes to the region’s ability to produce a wide array of wine styles. This diversity is a hallmark of the region, allowing vintners to experiment with different grape varieties and production techniques tailored to the unique characteristics of each soil type.


The Marche region of Italy is renowned for its distinctive and diverse grape varietals, particularly white grapes, which play a pivotal role in its viticultural landscape. Here’s an overview of the predominant grape varietals found in the Marche wine region:

Predominant White Grape Varietals:

  • Verdicchio: Verdicchio is the star white grape of Marche and is primarily grown in the areas of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica. This grape is renowned for its high acidity and ability to age well. Wines made from Verdicchio typically exhibit a crisp, mineral flavor with hints of citrus and almond. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica are two of the most prestigious DOC titles made from this grape.
  • Trebbiano: Trebbiano, known in Marche as Trebbiano Marchigiano, is widely planted across the region. It is used both for blending and for varietal wines, typically producing light, crisp wines with high acidity, often featuring subtle fruity and floral notes.
  • Pecorino: Pecorino is a lesser-known white grape variety that has been gaining popularity for its aromatic, full-bodied wines with high acidity and mineral content. It thrives in the cooler parts of Marche and is often considered to have great potential in the expression of terroir.
  • Passerina: Another indigenous white variety, Passerina, is used in both still and sparkling wines. It is appreciated for its light body, crisp acidity, and subtle flavors, which make it a versatile grape for various wine styles.

Predominant Red Grape Varietals:

  • Sangiovese: While Marche is more famous for its white wines, Sangiovese plays a significant role in red wine production. This grape variety is commonly used in the production of Rosso Piceno and Rosso Conero wines. Wines from Sangiovese typically offer flavors of cherry, earth, and herbs, with a robust tannic structure, making them excellent for aging.
  • Montepulciano: Montepulciano is another important red grape in the Marche, often blended with Sangiovese to produce Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. Montepulciano in Marche tends to produce rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavors and a smoother finish compared to those from neighboring regions.
  • Lacrima: Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is a highly aromatic red grape indigenous to the region near Morro d’Alba. Wines made from Lacrima are noted for their distinctive floral bouquet, often redolent of roses and violets, and are typically consumed young.

These grape varieties, each with its unique characteristics, contribute to the diverse and rich viticultural heritage of the Marche region, making it a notable and distinct wine-producing area within Italy’s extensive wine panorama.

The Marche wine region of Italy offers a diverse array of wines that can be categorized by color and style, highlighting both traditional methods and innovative approaches to winemaking. Here’s an overview of the typical wines you can find in Marche, broken down by color and style:

White Wines

  1. Verdicchio: This is the flagship white wine of the region, known for its bright acidity and complex flavors ranging from citrus and green apple to herbal undertones. This white wine is produced in two key DOCG areas: Castelli di Jesi and Matelica, with the former being more coastal and thus lighter and more perfumed, while the latter, produced in a more inland, mountainous area, tends to produce richer and more structured Verdicchio wines.
  2. Bianchello del Metauro: Made from the Bianchello grape, this white wine is light and fresh with a delicate bouquet, often featuring floral and fruity notes, ideal for drinking young.
  3. Pecorino: Known for its robust structure and high acidity, Pecorino wines are aromatic, offering flavors of ripe fruits and often a hint of spice. This white wine pairs well with the region’s seafood and white meats.

Red Wines

  1. Rosso Conero: Primarily made from Montepulciano, with the possible addition of Sangiovese, these red wines are rich and full-bodied, featuring deep berry flavors, plum, and sometimes spicy notes. Rosso Conero is a red wine that benefit from the warm coastal climate near the Conero peninsula.
  2. Rosso Piceno: Similar to Rosso Conero but often with higher proportions of Sangiovese. These red wines are versatile, ranging from light and fruity to more structured and complex versions that are capable of aging.
  3. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba: A distinctively aromatic red wine, known for its pronounced floral aromas like rose and violet, often with a hint of spice. These red wines are produced in a light to medium-bodied style and are best enjoyed young to appreciate their signature freshness.

Sparkling and Dessert Wines

  1. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona: This unique sparkling wine is made from the Vernaccia Nera grape in both dry and sweet styles. It’s known for its bright red fruits and effervescence, making it a festive choice for celebrations.
  2. Passito Wines: Using white wine grapes like Verdicchio and Malvasia, these dessert wines are rich and sweet, often with flavors of honey, dried fruit, and nuts, excellent for pairing with desserts or rich, creamy cheeses.

Style Variations

  • Natural and Orange Wines: There is a growing trend in Marche towards producing natural and orange wines, particularly with Verdicchio and other local white varieties. These wines are made with minimal intervention, often fermented with skins to add depth and texture.
  • Amphora Wines: Some producers in Marche are reviving ancient winemaking traditions by aging their wines in terracotta amphorae, which impart a great minerality and complexity to the wines, offering an unique wine tasting experience.

These styles and varieties illustrate the rich viticultural heritage and innovative spirit of the Marche wine region, reflecting both its historical roots and contemporary trends in winemaking. So, grab your glass and join one of the many wine tasting experiences offered by the winemakers of Marche.


50 - 450 m


750 - 1500 mm


sand, limestone and clay mixed with marl, calcareous

top varietal

Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Lacrima

History of wine

The history of the Marche wine region in Italy can be divided into several periods, each marked by significant developments that shaped its viticulture and winemaking traditions:

Ancient Times

  • Etruscan and Roman Foundations: The origins of viticulture in Marche trace back to the Etruscans and Romans. The strategic location of Marche along ancient trading routes facilitated the spread of viticultural knowledge and techniques. Roman authors such as Pliny the Elder and Columella documented the quality of the region's wines, highlighting their popularity throughout the empire.

Medieval Period

  • Monastic Influence: During the Middle Ages, monastic orders, particularly the Benedictines, played a pivotal role in the development of Marche's viticulture. These religious communities not only cultivated vines but also improved winemaking methods and preserved these traditions through turbulent times. Monasteries acted as centers of agricultural knowledge, including viticulture.

Renaissance to Early Modern Period

  • Expansion and Refinement: The Renaissance brought a renewed interest in agriculture and science, benefitting the vineyards of Marche. This period saw the expansion of vine cultivation and an improvement in the quality of winemaking, partly driven by the demands of local and international markets. The Marche region began to establish a reputation for producing distinct wines.

19th Century

  • Phylloxera Crisis and Replanting: Like much of Europe, Marche's vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century. This crisis led to significant replanting efforts, where traditional grape varieties were grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks from America, marking a major turning point in the region’s viticultural practices.

20th Century

  • Modernization and DOC Regulations: The 20th century was characterized by modernization and regulatory changes. After World War II, there was a push towards improving wine quality, which included the introduction of Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and later Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) regulations. These classifications helped standardize wine production and bolster the reputation of Marche wines on the global stage.

Contemporary Period

  • Focus on Quality and Sustainability: In recent decades, the Marche wine region has focused on enhancing the quality of its wines and embracing sustainable practices. There has been a significant move towards organic and biodynamic farming, along with innovative approaches such as the use of amphorae for aging wines. The region has gained international acclaim, particularly for its white wines like Verdicchio and its reds like Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno.

Throughout these periods, the Marche wine region has continuously evolved, adapting to challenges and seizing new opportunities. This historical journey not only reflects changes in agricultural practices and technologies but also shifts in societal attitudes towards wine consumption and production. Each era has contributed layers of depth to the wine culture in Marche, making it a dynamic and respected part of Italy’s wine heritage.