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Allegrini 2018
“SEA WINE”

31% of Italian denominations overlook the sea and grow more than average

From Sicily to Marche, the land of Bianchello del Metauro, which celebrates 50 years of PDO, sea wines grow by 45% in 10 years

By sea, throughout its long history, wine has travelled along routes and discovered new markets, by sea the vine has moved from the first land of domestication, the Caucasus, to Ancient Greece, and from there, again by sea, to Magna Graecia, and then to Southern Italy, up to go back, as a crop and as a culture, the Peninsula and get to conquer the entire Mediterranean basin, from France to Spain. In recent times, finally, the wines of Bordeaux, Champagne, Port, Marsala, have taken, once again, the way of the sea to get to Britain, for centuries the commercial heart of the wine world. Today, dozens of brands overlook the “Mare Nostrum” from the Italian peninsula and, as emerges from the conference “Vino da mare”, organized in Fano by the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini (Imt), traced by the head of Nomisma Wine Monitor, Denis Pantini, are the ones that record the best performances.
According to the analysis, presented in the 50 years of the Doc Bianchello del Metauro, 31% of the 408 DOP of the Peninsula, equal to 19% of the total volumes produced, boasts areas with landings on the sea, that is, explains Pantini, “with at least one municipality of production on the coast”, with Marche, Liguria, Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, Puglia, Molise and Abruzzo that have a “maritime” percentage of their designations of more than 75%.
A unique incidence among the main producing countries, destined to grow if we consider that - with the exception of Prosecco - in Italy the production of “maritime” wines has grown in recent years by 45%, compared to + 13% of the other wines. In this scenario, the market also seems to support the trend: among the 7 Italian regions that have grown by more than 90% in exports in the last decade, 4 have a strong incidence of “maritime” vineyards: Sicily, Puglia, Abruzzo and above all Marche, where out of 44 million PDO bottles 36 million are “maritime”. “An important aspect for exports is tourism - said Imt director Alberto Mazzoni - it is clear that foreign tourists are fundamental for the promotion of local products. This is precisely the case of Bianchello del Metauro and other areas of the Marche, with a high concentration of seaside tourism. But without ever forgetting our agricultural profile, especially in the hinterland, damaged by the earthquake of 2016. Today’s tourism - recalls Mazzoni - is not sedentary, tourists spend a few days at sea and then visit the cities of art and the hinterland, increasingly attracted by food and wine production. Wine, in this sense, plays a fundamental role: in the last 20 years, the white wines that have guided the growth are the two Verdicchio, the Bianchello and the Pecorino, that is, the products most closely linked to the territory and their culture and history”. However, not only that, because looking beyond regional and national borders, also thanks to Bianchello del Metauro, the province of Pesaro has recorded a growth in wine exports of over 370% over the decade, with Germany, China, and the USA as the main destinations.

Focus 50 years of Bianchello del Metauro

Celebrates 50 years since the approval of the specification, but actually boasts over 2 millennia of history (2,226 years) and also glorious achievements. Bianchello del Metauro, an autochthonous white wine from the Marche region and the first DOC to be approved in the province of Pesaro Urbino (1969), has always been known for its pleasantness and drinkability. These skills, which seem to have made him the true ally of Rome against the Carthaginian and Gallic troops in the historic battle of Metauro (207 BC). According to what Polibius wrote in book XI of “The Stories” (chapter I, paragraphs 2-7), on the eve of the clash, part of the enemy troops led by Asdrubale would have been drunk, handing over the victory to Gaius Claudius Nero and his legions.
But the territory of Bianchello was also famous for its wines in the Renaissance. Traces of its fame can be found in the words of Sante Lancerio, historian, geographer and “bottle maker” of Pope Paul III (1534-1559), who speaks of Fano as a city of “good wine and beautiful women”. And also Andrea Bacci, personal physician of Pope Sixtus V and professor of Botany at the University of Rome, in his “De naturali vinorum historia” (1596) recognizes the specificity of the vines grown in the area of Urbino and refers to the “high quality wines” tasted in the countryside of the northern Marche.
Today the denomination is protected by the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini (Imt) and extends along the low and middle course of the Metauro river, where the denomination’s vineyards are distributed among the municipalities of Fano, Cartoceto, Saltara, Serrungarina, Montefelcino, Isola del Piano, Fossombrone and S. Ippolito, Montemaggiore, S. Giorgio, Piagge, S. Costanzo, Orciano, Barchi, Fratterosa, the administrative island “Cavallara” of the municipality of Mondavio and part of the municipal territories of Urbino and Fermignano. A small company (200 ha) that has evolved over the years, moving from the image of simple wine and great drinkability to a product of greater personality and longevity.

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