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The Many Faces of the Verdicchio Grape with Marika Socci

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On July 11th, 2017, we went to Le Marche again talking about the many faces of the Verdicchio at #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream. My guest for the day was Marika Socci from Azienda Vitivinicola Socci in Castelplanio, Le Marche.

The special thing with this #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream was that it aired on a different time, in the afternoon here in Europe and in the morning in the US, to have Marika Socci live directly from the vineyard. This turned out to be a very cool initiative, as their vineyard is located very close to their winery buildings and is covered by wifi.

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The leading grape variety here is, as you have probably already understood, the Verdicchio which is starring in all the wines produced by Azienda Vitivinicola Socci.

More about Marika and Azienda Vitivinicola Socci

Marika Socci works at the family winery together with her father, Pierluigi Socci. Her grandfather planted the Verdicchio vines already back in the 1960s but in that period, they did not vinify or bottle the wine themselves but rather did it at the local cooperative. Further on, her grandfather decided to vinify and bottle the wine himself and thus started the family winery in 1973.

Azienda Vitivinicola Socci is situated in Castelplanio in the province of Ancona, which is in the middle of Verdicchio land, i.e. the district of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. The 3,5 ha (around 8 acres) of vineyard is spread out on the Mount Deserto hill on an altitude of 350 m.a.s.l.

Marika emphasized during the #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream that they are a small family run winery with lots of passion and dedication. The whole family helps out and they do everything themselves from the work in the vineyard to winemaking, marketing, selling, administration, and what else. They take pride in having a good relationship and “human to human” contact with all their clients.


The Verdicchio is a grape variety cultivated in Le Marche, on the hills of Jesi and Matelica. It gets its name from the greenish color of the grapes (green = verde). According to more recent studies, the Verdicchio is believed to be related to Trebbiano di Soave and Trebbiano di Lugana.

Marika defines Verdicchio as a powerful grape variety that gives wines with a great structure. She further on says that it is a sort of chameleon-like grape because you can work and vinify it in different ways with optimal results.

According to Marika, it is a wine that gives the very best of itself, with different nuances, in different situations. She says that it is a grape that can endure being experimented with, for ex. they are cooling the grapes for one of their wines.

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The Wines

Azienda Vitivinicola Socci produces four different wines with Verdicchio:

  • Deserto – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, 100% Verdicchio
  • Marika –  Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOP Classico Superiore, 100% Verdicchio
  • Martina – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, 100% Verdicchio
  • Ousia – Spumante Metodo Classico Millesimato Pas Dosé

Deserto they define as their “true” Verdicchio because it has the typical traits of the type of Verdicchio wine everybody are familiar with. Marika (as you might have understood, it is named after Marika) is a wine where the grapes, in their entirety, undergo a selective cryoextraction (the grapes are cooled down to -5 °C) and then pressed. This is to extract a must from the grapes that are richest in sugar and to extract the aromas that are typical for the Verdicchio. She defines it an atypical Verdicchio.

Martina (named after Marika’s sister) is the only one of their wines that do a short maceration on the grape skins. This gives it more immediate aromas that are recognizable for the Verdicchio grape. Last, but not least, Ousia is their sparkling wine made with the Champenoise method that they started experimenting with in 2012.

To learn more about these Verdicchio wines from Azienda Vitivinicola Socci, listen to the entire episode below of #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream.

Oh, and if you liked this type of wine content, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter right here.

Katarina Andersson

Seen often at wine events streaming live, Katarina is a wine writer, wine educator, social media strategist, and translator. She is the founder of WinesOfItaly LiveStream. She has been a guest at The Cellar, hosted by Richard Glover, at Wine Two Five, a podcast hosted by Stephanie Davis and Valerie Caruso, and at the Twitter chat #WiningHourChat founded by Li Valentine.

10 thoughts on “The Many Faces of the Verdicchio Grape with Marika Socci”

  1. This sounds like another lovely and informative adventure for you, Katarina! I love how each grape has its own distinct and unique properties and how they require nurturing and passion for the entire process of creating a great wine. For all the wine lovers in the world, you offer so much in depth insight into wine culture.

  2. It is so interesting to learn the behind the scenes of these wines. Each step needs to be performed correctly to bring out the proper flavor. Fascinating that the Deserto blend has to be cooled to exactly-5 degrees to bring out the sugars

  3. As a wine lover, I always find it so interesting reading your posts and learning about the processes that take place to make lovely wine. Wonderful to have a grape variety that lends itself to experimenting. The possibilities are endless.


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