Italy’s Verdicchio: A Country with a Grape for Everyone

By Holly Bruns

It’s hard to believe that with hundreds of indigenous grapes, Italy is not the birthplace of winemaking. Thus far that credit goes to Georgia where along the slopes of the Caucasian Mountains, perhaps, there was one mother of a vine that gave life to the multitudes of grapes that now grow worldwide. When exactly Vitis Vinifera were transplanted to the Italian peninsula is not known exactly, but Greek traders back in 800 BC certainly helped the process along.

Today, as the wine industry in Italy continues to go through a renaissance, the shelves of Pinot Grigio and Chianti are slowly being punctuated with more wines made from a variety of Italian grapes: Nero d’Avola, Aglianico, Catarrato, Lagrein, and this bottle of Verdicchio.

Grown on the verdant landscape of the Marche region in central Italy, Verdicchio was named for the Italian ‘verde’ or ‘green’ as there is a slight green hue to the wines it makes. Typically acidic with a lemony bitter profile, the grape has a long history and is thought to be an offspring of another ancient Italian grape, Greco, which in turn is thought to be derived of Greek origin.

Subtle and easy drinking, warm aromas of peach and apricots, beeswax and honeysuckle greet the nose. The round mouthfeel is balanced by some juicy lemon flavours and the wine finishes with a hint of bitterness that’s got a briny tinge to it.

An unobtrusive wine, it would make a great pairing with salty pasta like puttanesca, hard sharp cheeses like Romano or Parmesan, or with any bright, green herb sauce. Or, just pop the cork and enjoy a little of the Italian sun, soil and vinous history in a glass all on its own.

Garofoli Verdicchi Dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2010, Italy

LCBO 27793  $12.65

Holly Brun’s love for wine grew out of my love for food, and when curiosity got the better of me, I enrolled in the sommelier program at Algonquin College in Ottawa.  Half way through the program I was definitely hooked. I graduated with the Sommelier Award of Excellence, at the top of my class, and felt bolstered to go on to study at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust where I’ve recently graduated from the Advanced program with distinction. I can now say I am an official wino. Writing a blog just felt like a natural extension of my desire to pursue all things vinous. I like to write, creatively, as a hobby and studied English Lit in university. Writing about wine seems about as much fun as a girl can have! It is now my goal in life to entice others to love and drink wine as much as I do.



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