The grapes have been picked and the wineries are busy processing the grapes for wines that will be introduced next year and beyond. When we drive the roads of the Piceno area in the early fall we are very likely to encounter several slow moving tractors as the local farms take their grapes off to the local winery.
The Piceno area of southern Marche is a great place for some unique wines, and a few that you will find nowhere else in the world. One of these is made 100% from a grape with Greek roots that is grown in a small area of the Ascoli Piceno Provincia; Vino Pecorino.
The first time we saw this name we thought of the cheese, pecorino, which is a staple of the Italian diet and this wine does have a connection to sheep, for whom the cheese is named. The pecorino grapes were originally discovered by shepherds tending their flocks in the hills of the Sibillini Mountains. They made these white grapes into a wine which was part of their regular diet.
Now the pecorino grapes are grown closer to the Adriatic coast but on north slopes to take advantage of the cooler climate. These white grapes are then the sole ingredient in Vino Pecorino but also used in the local Vino Falerio. They make for a typical hearty Piceno wine with an alcohol content around 14%.
The color and aroma of the wine does remind you of the cheese but this wine is strong enough to stand on its own.