Falerio DOC | A dry white wine from the provinces of Ascoli Piceno and Fermo in Le Marche, a region on Italy’s Adriatic coast. It is the only white wine denomination in the southern part of Le Marche. The wine was originally created in 1975 under the name of Falerio dei Colli Ascolani DOC. This was made from a maximum 80% Trebbiano and upto 25% Passerina, Verdicchio and/or Pecorino and up to 7% Malvasia Toscana. In 2013 Falerio dei Colli Ascolani slimmed down its name to just Falerio DOC. Falerio refers to the ancient Roman city of Faleria, now Falerone. 

Falerio DOC was the only DOC white wine from Le Marche south until the creation of the Offida DOC (Offida became a DOCG from 2011) in the mid-1990s, when Le Marche encouraged DOCs based on varietally-labelled wines from the likes of Pecorino and Passerina, rather than white wines from a blend of different grapes like Falerio was. 

In 2013 the name was changed from Falerio dei Colli Ascolani to Falerio DOC and the permitted blend was changed to 20-50% Trebbiano Toscano, 10-30% Pecorino, 10-30% Passerina and 0-20% non-aromatic white grapes. The minimum alcohol level is 11.5%. (Source: Decreto Ministero Politiche agricole del 5 Settembre 1997 modificato dal DM 30 novembre 2011). 

Rocco Vallorani of Vigneti Vallorani told me ‘my father and grandfather used to make Falerio DOC. The wines were not bad at all even if some wines were just badly made. Making a blend with more diverse ingredients in terms of a range of grape varieties rather than just a single variety expresses our terroir and personality more deeply. But what has now happened is that because Falerio got ignored, prices stayed very low, and so the tradition is dying out as producers move their Pecorino and Passerina grapes into the more fashionable Offida DOCG.’

Terroir | The production zone is close to both the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the Sybilline (Sibillini) Mountains. These are part of the Apennines and lie around 40km (25 miles) to the west. Vineyards must be located below 700 metres (2,326 feet). 

Falerio Pecorino DOC | In 2012 the Falerio Pecorino DOC was introduced. Wines labelled Falerio Pecorino DOC come from the same area as the above-mentioned Falerio DOC but must contain at least 85-100% Pecorino grapes. 0-15% of non aromatic grapes authorised in Le Marche can also be blended in. The minimum alcohol level is 12%. (Source: Decreto Ministero Politiche agricole del 5 settembre 1997 modificato dal DM 30 Novembre 2011). Wine write Burton Anderson (1990, p.178) anticipated the creation of a stand-alone Pecorino white for the Falerio zone when he wrote how the Falerio dei Colli Ascolani white ‘might have shown distinction if it had been based on Pecorino, which was once prized locally, and not the all-too-convenient Trebbiano Toscano. Still, it can be a respectable if skittish fish wine.’ 

Wine production | 2018 32,000hl. 2.7 million bottles. 366 producers overall: 301 grape growers, 54 wine producers, 73 bottlers. | 2017 23,282hl. 2.3 million bottles. | 2016 26,087hl. 3.2 million bottles. | 2014 375 hectares (926) acres declared. | 2010 22,534hl. | 2009 20,758hl. | 2008 27,354hl. | 2007 26,910hl. | 2006 30,255hl.

Wineries

Certified organic | Pantaleone. | Vigneti Vallorani.

Bibliography

Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy, Mitchell Beazley, 1990 p171-179.  

Production data | 2006-2010 Federdoc as reported by I Numeri del Vino. 2016-2018 Valoritalia.