When one speaks about Pecorino, it’s natural to think of cheese. But that’s not what this article is about. Pecorino but not the cheese – It’s the grape.
The grape vine known as Pecorino is a white grape variety native to the Marche (Italy). It is most commonly found in the Piceno region and owes its peculiar name to the sheep that once grazed the area in which it was grown.
Pecorino, a grape vine and a wine that was recently rediscovered, after being in danger of extinction because, as many other indigenous vines, it had been relegated to ever-shrinking niches by its low productivity and by the limited interest among vintners. Pecorino has been registered in the National catalogue of varieties since 1871: the historical record confirms that it was known in many wine growing areas of central (Umbria, Marche, Abruzzi) and southern (Puglia) Italy.
Over the years, Pecorino has been known under many aliases in the locations in which it was cultivated: Uva [grape] Pecorina or Uva delle Pecore [of the sheep], recalling the areas where sheep farming was practiced and this grape variety was common, but also Pecorino d’Arquata, Pecorina arquatanella, or Arquitano. The last three names derive from the area of Arquata del Tronto. This area, where Pecorino was rediscovered also gives a clue about its characteristics. In these hills, over 1,000 metres above sea level, the vine displays its hardiness in harsh weather.
Its elongated bunches are shaped as irregular cones, the small to medium sized grapes are spherical, and the skin is thin and fairly firm. Its leaves are of medium size, heart-shaped and rounded, with five scarcely separated and serrated lobes; they are supported by pale green stems with reddish hues. The shoots are slender, reddish, and quite knotty.
The Pecorino varietal wine
The wine, in its current version, is produced very frequently from the unblended single variety (even though the specification for the DOC allows small percentages of other white grape varieties); this investment has largely paid off. Today, the Pecorino varietal wine is a true oenological success story; its excellent quality earned it the moniker of red dressed in white.
Pecorino has a straw yellow colour with greenish reflections, is spicy in the nose, and has a smooth feel in the mouth; its flavour hints at ripe fruit, Renetta apple, liquorice, and acacia and jasmine blossoms. It is a suitable accompaniment not only to savoury first courses, fish, and white meats, but also to the cured meats typical of the Ascoli region; among them is the renowned ciauscolo (a typical sausage of a spreadable consistency.) It is also a good match for the similar dishes of the national gastronomic tradition and beyond: a limitless range of pairings to be experimented with.
For further information about this excellent wine, please visit the website www.vinopecorino.com
Where to buy Pecorino wine? Please contact Tenuta Cocci Grifoni
Tenuta Cocci Grifoni
Guido Cocci Grifoni & C srl
63065 Contrada Messieri, 12
San Savino di Ripatransone (AP)
tel. +39 0735 90143