The pastoral scene of gently rolling hills that give way to seaside towns belies the tumultuous history from which the region draws its name. In Frankish (and many other ancient languages), the word marka signified a border area between two political entities. After countless invasions, the region became a border between the Holy Roman Empire and the Republic of Venice. It was during this time that it was first called “Le Marché.” Over the years, various dominant cultures have left their mark on Le Marché: Romans with their short, squat buildings, the duomi of Renaissance cathedrals, and castles dotting the landscape. It is from these plentiful castles around the city of Jesi that the name Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is taken.
The food of Le Marché is simple, but never disappointing. Drawn from both land and sea, many dishes are cooked in either a potaccio style with white wine, onion, tomato and rosemary, or a porchetta style, with wild fennel, garlic and rosemary. White truffles can be found here in spades — with production second only to Piedmont — and are treasured as the perfect topping to a local specialty lasagna called vincisgrassi. Bordetto, a spicy soup whose exact recipe is slightly altered in each community, can include up to thirteen different types of seafood. Of course, there is Verdicchio a-plenty to wash down all the tasty cuisine … Cin Cin!
Historically, the region has been known for its Verdicchio, a crisp white wine that made a distinct impression outside of Italy for its creative, green amphora-shaped bottles and refreshing quality. Producers have worked hard to prove that good Verdicchio is not only crisp and refreshing, but also layered with delicious complexity. Le Marché has been one of the last regions in central Italy to realize its potential for high-quality wines. As excitement for this quality-minded production grows, many connoisseurs believe Le Marché capable of producing impressively structured, quality-driven red wines from the Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes.