Colle StefanoMarche, Italy
Collestefano was started in 1998 when Fabio Marchionni took over the estate that had been in his family for years.
After getting his degree in agriculture, where he did his thesis on Verdicchio di Matelica, he went to Germany to work for Weingut Zähringer where he learned to work and farm organically with minimal impact on the environment. He then worked briefly in wine bars and restaurants before taking over the family farm. His Verdicchio has been consistent in quality, winning at least two glasses from Gambero Rosso since the 2001 vintage (twice winning three glasses). It is and has alwys been exceptional value for an organic wine having barely increased in price since we first discovered it nearly 10 years ago. The Matelica zone is further inland and at a higher elevation than the more common Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi and because of the Georgaphy and less favourable climate is generally more difficult to produce. Matelica wines do tend to be brighter and more elegant than the Castelli di Jesi wines with lower alcohol higher acidity and less heft. The Colle Stefano farm comprises 18 hectares nestled in a cold and dry microclimate alongside the Esino River between the Appenine Mountains and the Adriatic. The vines are at 420 m above sea level, The Verdicchio is from 100% estate grown and organically-farmed fruit. Vineyards are at an average altitude of 420m. Soil is alluvial with limestone and chalk. Manually harvested grapes are softly pressed and slowly fermented in stainless steel with no intervention. Simple, clean, direct, beautifully crafted Verdicchio.