Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG dates from 2004. It is a red sparkling wine made since the 15th-century from Vernaccia Nera grapes grown in the Serrapetrona area in Macerata province in the Le Marche region of Italy. (The still wine version is Serrapetrona DOC). Vernaccia Nera in Vernaccia di Serrapetrona in the province of Macerata, the only red coloured Vernaccia grape in Italy from which either a sparkling red wine, dry or slightly sweet, is made. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is one of Italy’s greatest, most unique under-the radar wines. Sparkling red wine from dark Vernaccia grapes was prominent in the past in western Le Marche, but today it is rare outside the environs of Serrapetrona, says Burton Anderson (1990, p.177). Of the total production of Serrapetrona 80% is this sparkling version, and 20% is a still red wine called Serrapetrona DOC which see.

DOC, DOCG status: The Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOC was first created in 1971 and was elevated to DOCG from the 2003 vintage, making it Le Marche’s first DOCG.

Production zone: Burton Anderson (1990, p.173) says the production zone lies along the Chienti [sic] hills that were once renowned for wine. It includes the commune of Serrapetrona in an inland area less than 12.4 miles (20km) south-east of Matelica (see Verdicchio di Matelica DOC). The zone also includes parts of the communes of Belforte del Chienti and San Severino Marche, east of Tolentino, all in the province of Macerata. The elevation is around 500 metres (1,640 feet). The terrain is mountainous, with deep, steeply sloping valleys. The underlying geology is said to be uneven, comprising calcareous and calcareous-marl (tertiary Mezozoic) to marly, marly arenaceous and arenaceous soils of the Miocene (Native Grape Odyssey, p.200).

The wine: This is made from 85%-100% Vernaccia Nera with an optional 0-15% Sangiovese, Montepulciano or Ciliegiolo. It appears in both dry (secco) and sweet (dolce) versions, the latter a result of subjecting the grapes to a light drying. Burton Anderson (1990, p.177) says Vernaccia di Serrapetrona was ‘traditionally sweet, which still seems the most successful style, but it may also be dry [see secco]. But in either case it has a fairly deep purple crimson colour and a balmy aroma with a bitter edge to its otherwise broad, soft flavour.’ Others note herbs and black pepper flavours.

Production2010 2,067hl (Federdoc). | 2009 1,842hl (Federdoc). | 2008 1,580hl (Federdoc). | 2007 1,573hl (Federdoc). | 2006 2,445hl (Federdoc).

Bibliography

Burton Anderson, Vino – The Wines and Winemakers of Italy (London, 1982).

Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy, Mitchell Beazley, 1990 p.326-9.

Italian Wine Guide (Touring Club of Italy, 1999), p.368. 

Native Grape Odyssey, (Positive Press), p.200.