Montecarotto | Township (‘comune’) in Ancona province in Le Marche, a region on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Montecarotto lies on the left or north bank of the Esino river, in the hills dividing the Misa from the Esino river, around 25 miles (40km) west of Ancona itself. The Fossato, a tributary of the Esino, flows through Montecarotto. The centre still has remnants of its medieval walls and towers. It also has fine 19th-century buildings, including the theatre. The surrounding countryside is dotted with churches.
The name | Montecarotto derives from Mons Arcis Ruptae or Mountain of a ancient and now destroyed fortress.
Wines | These can be made under the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC Superiore denominations.
In 1248 cardinal Rainerio, the Pope’s vicar, recognized the rule of Jesi over Montecarotto and the other Jesi castles (‘Castelli di Jesi’). However, the power of Jesi became effective only in 1301, when Bishop Leonardo renounced his feudal rights. Montecarotto becasme the second castle to lay its bid after Massaccio (today’s Cupramontana).
The fifteenth century was particularly turbulent to Montecarotto which was ruled both by Jesi and by the Malatesta family from Rimini, with Jesi taking full possession of Montecarotto in 1431. In the second half of the 15th century, land acquisitions by local owners saw Montecarotto start to grow, which continued for two centuries.
In the sixteenth century the ‘Castelli di Jesi’ towns sought greater administrative and financial autonomy. At the end of the century and then in 1636 serious plagues struck the area and caused a drastic decrease in population. However, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Montecarotto showed a remarkable vitality by rebuilding the walls, commissioning works of art for churches, renewing the town charter and increasing cereal growing.
The 18th-century brought population rise and renewed if unsuccessful struggles for independence from Jesi, confirmed in 1752 by Pope Benedict XIV’s “motu proprio” pro Jesi. In 1808, after the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the ‘Castelli di Jesi’ towns finally gained their independence.
Contrade | Named areas in Montecarotto of wine-growing significance according to Ian d’Agata (2019, p316) include Busche (where the vines of Pievalta are), Passetto, Sabbionare, San Lorenzo, and Villa.
Certified Biodynamic | Pievalta.
Certified organic, Biodynamic practices | Col di Corte.
Dr Ian d’Agata, Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs (University of California Press, 2019).
The Italian Wine Guide (Touring Club of Italy, 1999), p363-4.