Verdicchio [vehr-DEEK-kyoh] is a variety of white grape grown in the Marche region of Italy and gives its name to the varietal white wine made from it. The name is a derivative of the word "verde" which means green due to its slight green/yellow hue.

Its high quality white wines are produced around the area of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica, and are noted for their high acidity and a characteristic nutty flavour. Depending on vinification techniques and on the vintage, the verdicchio ranges from fresh, everyday wines, to wines rich in bouquet and structure, sometimes even capable of aging for ten years or more.

Verdicchio grapes are also used to make sparkling wine.

Wine regions

The Verdicchio vine has been cultivated in the Marches region of east central Italy, to which it is probably native, since the 1300s, but virtually nowhere else. Named for the yellow-green hue of the grapes, it is the best of the Marche’s white vines, and exists in two D.O.C. appellations, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica.

In both of these it must constitute at least 85 percent of a blend also permitting Malvasia and Trebbiano, but may also stand on its own. It is a frequent component of the region’s sparkling wines.

Viticulture and winemaking

The Verdicchio vine is vigorous and moderately productive. It prefers sandy, alluvial soils over a layer of chalk rich in marine fossils which lend complexity. The vine bears large, pentagonal leaves with three or five lobes and compact, winged cylindrical bunches of round, dusky berries. The fruit is delicately scented, high in acidity, well structured and of moderately high extract when the vine is properly planted and cultivated.

Verdicchio produces a pale, straw-colored wine of good acidic balance offering subtle, crisp, clean white fruit flavors and aromas offset by nuances of citrus, almonds and blossom, finishing on a slight bitter note.