Fattoria La Monacesca, estate in the Le Marche region of Italy producing white wines under the Verdicchio di Matelica DOC and Verdicchio di Matelica DOCG. The first vintage here was 1966 under the Cifola family. Aldo Cifola (the founder’s son, second generation) now runs it.  Agricola La Monacesca is located in the commune of Matelica, about 4 kilometres from the centre of town, in the Monacesca contrada, along the state highway that leads to Fabriano. The estate was formerly a montastery (hence the name, see below). The legal office is in Civitanova Marche, and the administration and production facility, with storage and bottling, is in the commune of Potenza Picena, also in the province of Macerata.

Owner | Casimiro Cifola (and Aldo Cifola).

Background | The area where the estate is located owes its name to the settlement, around 900AD, to a small band of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Farfa who fled northern Italy under the scourge of the Lombards. They decided to stay in this out-of-the-way place, and built a small church and a monastery (today perfectly restored and now part of the winery’s borgo, or hamlet); thus this splendid area took the name of Monacesca over time. The name became the winery brand-name too in 1966, when Casimiro Cifola, having purchased the farm properties, began planting the first vineyards and built the first wine cellar. 1973 saw the release of the first Verdicchio di Matelica. Starting in 1982, Casimiro was joined by his son Aldo, the current director of the winery; he gave his support to efforts to further increase, through technical means, efforts focused on drawing out the qualities inherent in our fantastic noble grape.

Over time other contiguous vineyard parcels were acquired. New vineyards were planted to both Verdicchio and international varieties (Chardonnay). In 1994, Sangiovese and Merlot were planted in Contrada Valle, an area known for red wines since the early 20th century, when a “Rosso Matelica” won prizes in international wine competitions.

Vineyards | 33ha of which 8ha are for red wine and the rest is for Verdicchio di Matelica apart from 2ha of Chardonnay. Replanting La Monacesca replants with its own budwood. The rootstock is planted, then the scion is added later by field grafting.

Production | Around 160,000 bottles per year.

Winery | High-tech.

White wines

Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, Fattoria La Monacesca | 2001 Decent straw gold, creamy nose without being fat, crisp acidity, quite dense when tasted in Ancona on Wednesday 4th June 2003.

Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, La Monacesca | The ‘La Monacesca’ bottling is more expensive than the ‘Fattoria la Monacesca’ bottling. | 2001 Riper and fuller than the more basic Fattoria La Monacesca bottling when tasted at the Enoteca Matelica, Thursday afternoon 5th June 2003. | 2014 La Monacesca Nice, crisp, simple with decent weight, well put together if a bit simple (Collisioni Sunday 2016). | 2015 Quite honeyed with some yeasty evolution in Fabriano 3rd Sept 2017 (Collisioni).

Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, Terredimezzo | From 2ha in Matelica, Contrada Monacesca. North-south. Predominatly clay. Vertical trellised to double-arched cane. Ca. 2500 vines per hectare. 400 metres. “The ‘middle land’ wine positioned between annata and the Mirum Riserva’; too good for annata, not dense enough for riserva.” This is meant to age. 36 months in steel. 15-30 year old vines. Made only every 5 or so years. | 2012 13%. Mealy (long lees aging), nice acid, decent oak, savoury and well controlled, good; very harmonious (Palazzo Honorati-Carotti, 2015).

Verdicchio di Matelica DOCG Riserva, Mirum | Was a DOC until DOCG was granted in 2010.100% stainless steel despite being a Riserva ‘Family’ wine. | 1988 Debut in honour of his father (“Tough period for white wines”). From a 3-ha vineyard on clay dominated soil in the contrada Monacesca in the commune of Matelica. Over 400 metres above sea level. Harvesting is significantly later than for La Monacesca’s basic Verdicchio, usually taking place in the final weeks of October so that the grapes are slightly overripe,’ (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). Around 13,000 bottles are produced on average each year (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). | 1993 13.5% alcohol. | 1995 Produced. | 1996 No Mirum was made. | 1997 Owner Aldo Cifola is quoted as saying the 1997 was ‘contrary when young,’ (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). | 1999 Owner Aldo Cifola is quoted (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006) as saying 1999 was possibly the best ever harvest for Mirum (upto and including 2004). | 2000 DOC Riserva. 14%. August temperatures reached 40ºC, picked from 30 September (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). Good texture. Beautifully bright, lovely citrus fruit (Palazzo Honorati-Carotti, 2015). | 2001 14% alc. Said to be even hotter here than 2003 (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). | 2003 Half the 2003 crop was lost in June to hail–car windows were smashed,’ (Stuart George: WFW 13 2006). | 2004 Harvest began on 25 October, the same date as the renowned 1993. 14 months in stainless steel with no oak. 14.4% alcohol. | 2014 Verdicchio di Matelica DOCG Riserva Mirum. 30% lower yields than normal. 18 months in steel; 6m in bottle. Very Nice and fluid and salty with a bit of blur/bitter (Collisioni 2016). Good again, slight honey. Very good extract. A good year here. Salt and mineral (Palazzo Honorati-Carotti, 2015). Salty and some peachy honey in Fabriano 3rd Sept 2017 (Collisioni).

Red wines

Camerte, Marche Rosso | 2000 70% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot. Unfiltered. Chunky, full tannins but softened well by the winemaker, some oak in the background, needs time, or just strenuos decanting as still youthful, clean, pleasant, modern, Italian red made in a French/New World style with a peppery nose, prickly from the wood when tasted in Ancona on Wednesday 4th June 2003.

Contact

Fattoria La Monacesca

Via D’Annunzio, 1

I-62012 Civitanova Marche (MC), Italy

Tel+39 0733.812602 | www.monacesca.it