Valoritalia, the Italian quality rating agency, recently reported that Verdicchio, the representative white wine of the Marche region, is bucking the trend in 2020. The Castelli di Jesi and Matelica regions, the two major Verdicchio wine regions, saw a 36.9% and 14.8% increase in bottlings in 2020, respectively. Total bottlings of DOP and IGP wines across the Marche region increased by 5% in 2020, driven by the strong presence of Verdici whites.
Image courtesy of: ItalianWine.com
Castello di Jesi and Matelica are the most important white wine producing areas in the Marche region. Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC, and Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva DOCG and Verdicchio di Matelica DOC. Matelica DOC, both of which require a minimum of 85% Verdicchio grapes.
In 2020, the two appellations Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC bottled 190,000 hectoliters of wine, 51,000 hectoliters more than in 2019.Verdicchio di Matelica The Riserva DOCG and Verdicchio di Matelica DOC appellations bottled 19,000 hectoliters, 2,500 hectoliters more than in 2019.
Alberto Mazzoni, president of the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini (IMT), said: "The data of the last ten years show that the white wines of the Marche have a good international reputation. Tens of millions of euros have been invested to stimulate the development of wineries, vineyards and promotion activities in the Marche region. We also keep an eye on the return on investment. According to Nomisma Wine Monitor data, we have an input-output ratio of 1:8 on our investments in overseas marketing activities.
The Marche Region Wine Protection Association has 652 member wineries and companies, managing 16 wine regions, including four appellations with guaranteed appellation of origin (DOCG) status.
Overall, it appears that market demand for Marche wines surged in the first quarter of 2020, with Verdicchio wines remaining stable in overseas markets while demand in domestic markets rose sharply, according to the Marche Wine Conservancy. Especially in the second half of 2020, producers began to reposition themselves in the market because of the sharp drop in sales in traditional sales channels such as restaurants. Direct sales, proximity sales, online sales and the repositioning of some premium brands are four important initiatives to get Verdicchio wines out of the epidemic crisis.
In 2021, the Marche Wine Protection Association will launch a promotional campaign of more than 3 million euros and a global online campaign. The theme of the campaign is a multi-channel marketing strategy to help the wine out of its difficulties, with the aim of promoting Verdicchio wines in Italy and around the world. Plans for the campaign have been finalized and will be submitted by the end of February.
Alberto Mazzoni concluded: The association is accelerating the digitalization process and the new crown epidemic forces us to maintain a digital strategy at least through the first half of 2021.