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Pecorino Wines

Pecorino wine comes from the white grape of the same name, which is mainly grown in central Italy, between the Marche and upper Abruzzo regions. It is a variety that loves the sea and sunny climates, where it grows abundantly and produces fresh, sunny wines with a strong saline character and a savoury taste rich in Mediterranean flavours. Its ancient history is rooted in the Marche region, particularly in the Sibillini Mountains, which explains why it is actually a highly versatile grape variety that can give excellent results even when grown inland in colder climatic conditions. The resulting white wine is decidedly gastronomic, capable of accompanying, depending on the type and area, earthy or fish-based dishes from the Adriatic.

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Pecorino wine comes from the white grape of the same name, which is mainly grown in central Italy, between the Marche and upper Abruzzo regions. It is a variety that loves the sea and sunny climates, where it grows abundantly and produces fresh, sunny wines with a strong saline character and a savoury taste rich in Mediterranean flavours. Its ancient history is rooted in the Marche region, particularly in the Sibillini Mountains, which explains why it is actually a highly versatile grape variety that can give excellent results even when grown inland in colder climatic conditions. The resulting white wine is decidedly gastronomic, capable of accompanying, depending on the type and area, earthy or fish-based dishes from the Adriatic.

Historical and Geographical Origins

Pecorino wines are produced from a vine of Italic origin that is grown in the regions of Marche and Abruzzo, with some traces also in Lazio and Umbria. In the 13th century, the first evidence seems to confirm its spread near the town of Arquata del Tronto, where there was a convent of Franciscan monks who most likely used this white wine to celebrate liturgical masses. Its spread was favoured by the fact that it was a highly resistant variety that adapted wonderfully to different types of soil. Another interesting testimony from 1587 was that of the cleric Innocenzo Malvasia, who during a trip to Arquata in the Umbrian communities mentioned the product in the area and its popularity in neighbouring regions. It was first documented in 1875 in the Bollettino Ampelografico (Ampelographic Bulletin), where it was mentioned for the first time in the Sibillini Mountains, located on the Apennine range at the point where the regions of Umbria and Marche meet. From the early 20th century onwards, its marine suitability was discovered and so it reached the towns of Offida, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno. Some historical records refer to this grape variety with different terminology. For example, in Arquata it was known as 'Arquitano', in other areas of Abruzzo and the Marches, where there was a strong sheep farming activity, it was called 'Uva Pecorina' or 'Uva delle Pecore' ('Sheep's Grape') while in Tuscany it was known as 'Dolcipappola'.

During the 20th century, it suffered a drastic decline in the foothills and only after the phylloxera disaster, thanks to a few strains that managed to survive, was it reintroduced in the areas where it is still grown today.


The Identity: Profile, Characteristics and Pairings

This grape is used for the production of the most important denominations in the central Italian regions bordering the Adriatic Sea, such as Offida DOC, Colli Aprutini IGT, Abruzzo DOC, Colli Pescaresi IGT and Terre di Chieti IGT. It has a medium-sized bunch with a cylinder-conical shape, while the berry is medium-sized and has a spherical shape with a very thin skin that soon turns yellow. It has excellent resistance and ripens very quickly, and in fact is harvested generally in the first weeks of September. The Pecorino wine originates from the mountains and has an alpine spirit but also loves the sea and the sun, which makes it perfect for cultivation in that small strip of land that connects the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Often used in the past to blend lighter productions, today it is cultivated in purity in many places.

It is a wine that has a straw-yellow colour, which, depending on the period of ageing or possible maceration, may have greenish or golden hues. The aromatic range is centred on Mediterranean tones reminiscent of citrus fruits, balsamic herbs, spontaneous spices and above all, the saltiness and iodine of the sea. Rocky and mineral notes are much more evident in grapes grown near the Apennines and enhance a rich and deep bouquet. The taste profile is elegantly led by a wonderful, sharp freshness that is accompanied by marine notes, making the sip very enjoyable and easy to drink. The flavour is enveloping, deep and clean, with good alcohol content. Normally it also has an excellent quality/price ratio, as evidenced for example by the Pecorino Cataldi Madonna, which is a true example of the potential of this grape variety. On the other hand, in the Aprutini Hills, the wines of this variety produced by Emidio Pepe are a symbol of artisanship and history, producing a rustic and multifaceted nectar with very long ageing potential.

In general, Pecorino wines from the Abruzzo region have a more intense, mountainous and profound profile than those from the Marche region, which are simpler, more direct and have a more distinct saltiness. This is probably also because in the Marche the Apennines are less prominent and the coastal area is much wider than in the neighbouring Abruzzo region. We recommend pairing these white wines with fish-based dishes, such as brodetto marchigiano (fish soup), anchovy rolls, baked red mullet, baked sea bream, shellfish in sauce and cod bites. It is also worth trying with more structured dishes such as squid in sauce, Ascoli olives, mushroom and sea cannelloni, and the famous vincisgrassi (similar, but not to be confused with lasagne).

Looking for the perfect bottle of wine for your seafood dinner? Discover the Pecorino wines for sale online on Callmewine at a special price and explore the many offers, along with detailed descriptions prepared by our expert staff, including characteristics, and pairing and serving suggestions.