Malacari, organic winery in Offagna in the west of the Conero region in Le Marche, around 6.2 miles (10km) from Italy’s Adriatic coast. Red wines are produced under the Rosso Conero DOC and Cònero DOCG. White wine is made under the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC.

Owner | Alessandro Malacari Starrabba. He represents the 15th or 16th generation of the Conti Malacari Misturi family.

Background | The Malacari family has owned the land here since the early 1500s. The main building dates from the 1650s and is one of the oldest estates in the area. Baviera is what the locals called the place where the house is on because it once belonged to a Bavarian family. There is a palazzatto Baviera in Senigallia. But Grigiano is the name now given to the area on the land registry.  In 1981 the ‘fattore’ or manager died. Alessandro came to live here with his mother. A key crop was grain. Cooking was on a wood-burning stove. During this time the estate adopted fertilisers and herbicides. ‘Always the same rhythm,’ Alessandro told me in 2019. ‘One always worried about which new challenge would arrive.’ From 1997 Alessandro Starrabba decided to concentrate on the vineyards and DOC wine production. He restored the cellars of the mansion, and hired oenologist Sergio Paolucci on the winemaking side. In 2000 Alessandro Starrabba started working in cooperation with agronomist Pierluigi Donna on the viticultural side.

Staff | Paolo Inama began consulting from 2010.

Vineyards | 1971 In 1971 nine of the 19 hectares were planted with vineyards. The remaining 10 hectares was planted between 2001 and 2006. | 2019 The estate covered 44 hectares of land. Of these, 19ha are vineyards. Montepulciano is grown for Conero DOCG and Rosso Conero DOC. The vineyards are all on the Grigiano hill and fall within the DOC Rosso Conero area of the Cònero Reserve DOCG. | 2019 14ha of vines.

Terroir | Calcareous clay and sand. Vines from 80m or so to 250m. Around 6.2 miles (10km) from the Adriatic.

Organic certification | 2016 First vintage with full organic certification.

Wine production | In 2019 the estate was producing around 80,000 bottles per year, between Conero Riserva DOCG (Grigiano) and Rosso Conero DOC (Villa Malacari).

Winery | The winery was built by Andrea Malacari in 1668 and is still in use today. The walls are up to one metre thick. Vaulted stone ceilings.

White wines

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classic DOC, Vines Misturi | From rented vines at 450m in in Staffolo.

Pink wines

Osè | 2018 100% Montepulciano. From the same vineyard as Rocca (see below). 15 Sept harvested. Not a salasso. Stopped fermentation with sulfites as worried about volatility. Soft. A little bit funky. Light sweetness. Savoury, if a little disjointed. A bit sweeter than he had planned for. 1,000 bottles.

Red wines

Rocca | 2015 Marche Rosso. 100% Montepulciano. Not permitted to have the name of the Montepulciano grape variety on the label. 6 days on skins. Aged in steel. No oak. From slightly younger vines. Picked a bit earlier. For earlier drinking. Has maybe 4g of of residual sugar. Filtered. No sign of green in here for me.

Rosso Cònero DOC, Villa Malacari | Calcareous clay. 100% Montepulciano. | 2002 Wet season. New vines, very productive. | 2003 13.5%. Hot year. Decent and dusty, dark fruit at the estate in 2019. | 2009 100% Montepulciano. 14%. Wild dark fruit, some nice freshness in this, signs of evolution too. Good now but with plenty of life left at the estate in 2019. | 2012 100% Montepulciano. Hot year. 14%. Aged part in tonneaux and barrel, older oak. Robust. Bottled with a mobile bottling line. Hot vintage, can feel the heat he says. Wants to have softer tannins. Delestage. Plenty of old style fruit and a bit of Brett at the estate in 2019. | 2014 13.5%. 14,000 bottles. Steel. Delestage. 12m in older oak, 500-litre tonneaux and 225-litre barrels. Soft spicy blackcurrant fruit. Still has a little rounding out to do but ready now at the estate in 2019.

Conero DOCG Riserva, Grigiano | This is the name of the hill the Villa Fattoria or house is on. From 3.7ha in the Grigiano vineyard. Clay, silty-sand. Double spurred cordon. Gives best flavours. Nice balance of skin and juice. Aged in both new and used tonneaux. |1998 13.5%. A bit bretty on nose. Slightly drying on the palate with plenty of dark ripe fruit with savoury tannins and that bit of corruption. Still plenty of fruit to stand up to the dryness. | 1999 Not made. | 2000 Rosso Conero, Grigiano 100% Montepulciano. Again over-ripe nose, slightly burnt and currant, Christmas pudding like, slightly volatile first bottle and same for the second when tasted at the Enoteca in Jesi on Thursday 5th June 2003. | 2005 Not made due to hail on 11th August 2005. | 2008 Riserva 14% alc. 7,000 bottles. from 3.7ha. 100% Montepulciano. 1971 vines. Very nice sweet savoury fruit, good lift, nice dry tannins with bright fruit. Lovely wine. | 2010 Riserva (current release). 100% Montepulciano. 14% alc. | 1971 vines. Pied de cuve. 20 days on skins. Delestage. Inox, MLF in tonneaux. Rack. Back to tonneaux. Not all new. Says he wants to go back to tonneaux like his parents. 7,000 bottles.


Bed and Breakfast.


Visit to the winery Wednesday 12th June 2019.


Villa Malacari

I-60020 Offagna (AN = Ancona), Italy

Tel+39 071 720760