The Evolution in Taste

Due to its characteristic resistance to molds and parasites, its ability to ensure a remarkable productivity per hectare and to accumulate sugars close to the harvest without a proportional decrease in acid components, the grape of the Passerina vine was initially used as a corrective in the blending of white wines.

Over the years this trend has changed and the number of producers who vinify Passerina in purity has increased, focusing on its oenological characteristics. It is a wine with floral and delicate aromas, capable, with its liveliness, of giving ample satisfaction even in the creation of sparkling and sweet wines, as well as still wines.

Evoluzione del Gusto - Vino Passerina - Tenuta Cocci Grifoni

Piceno and Wine, an Ancient Bond

In this part of Italy, at the beginning of viticulture, we find the Etruscans and Colonists from Greece. This was between the 10th and 8th centuries BC, a moment we can date as the dawn of Piceno winemaking.

The abundant production of generous and powerful wines has attracted important figures of history including Hannibal and his troops and the historians and the poets of ancient Rome: Cato and Pliny the Elder, Varro and Culumella. These men had the opportunity to appreciate and describe the winemaking tradition of the Piceno lands. Later, after the Renaissance, the wines of Piceno were defined as “very powerful” by Andrea Bacci, physician to Pope Sixtus V, and lover of the already varied Italian wine production.

Through historical records we see that Piceno winemaking techniques have evolved. Beginning with the vineyards of the Low Middle Ages, to the cultivation of the arable land while developing maximizing the products of the fields, to the wine growing of today which highlights the orderly, regular rows of vines that paint the hilly landscape have changed the production and quality of the grapes.

And today? Today, in the lands of the Piceno we continue to cultivate, research and enhance quality of the grapes.

The Two Wine Revolutions in the Piceno

In the decade between 1880 and 1890 the scourges of downy mildew and Phylloxera reached the Piceno, conquered through the grafting of American grown vine rootstocks.

The birth in the Marche of the Itinerant Chairs of Agriculture – an agricultural training institution – was instrumental in the improvement of cultivation techniques and the renewal of the unhealthy plants. At the same time there was also a revolution in the clonal varieties cultivated with the introduction of completely unknown vines in the oenological history of the Marche and Piceno.

In 1905, the scholar Arzelio Felini wrote in his Marchigiani Studies that: “[It] is over twenty years that our winemakers, in trying to solve the Marche wine problem, have abandoned the multiplication of the characteristic varieties of our local vines, such as Vernacce , Verdicchi, Biancami, to introduce vines from the north and south. “(I vini delle Marche, Department of Agriculture of the Marche Region, 2004). Sangiovese, Trebbiano, and “international” grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay make their entry. Production becomes more rational, sharecropping ends and new owners are born.

In the 1980s, the indigenous grape varieties are almost forgotten but soon far-sighted producers are reminded of its great potential, especially in the light of modern methods in the vineyard and in winemaking.

The manufacturing companies restructure themselves as there is a move from mass production from the tank to bottling and the plants are improved due to the introduction of the DOC regulations that set new and rigorous quality standards. This is the Second Piceno Wine Revolution with Passerina leading the way.

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