Welcome to Serrapetrona, the land of the red sparkling wine Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, in Le Marche, central Italy. This rare wine has nothing to do with other versions of Vernaccia in Tuscany or in Sardinia. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is unique as it is the only sparkling red DOCG wine in Italy (a quality assurance label for Italian wines, that guarantees those specific wines cannot be replicated elsewhere). Another rare feature: it’s made with specific dried grapes, exclusive from this area.

For anyone not used to having bubbles in their reds, believe me: it can be seriously expressive, intense and aromatic. I was invited to discover the secrets of these red bubbles at the winery Colleluce, a family-owned local company. Are you ready to take your glass of wine, chill, and enjoy this journey with me?

Why it’s a unique wine in Italy

  • Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is also unique because it’s the only wine fermented 3 times: the first part is fermented after harvest; a second part is fermented after a period of drying, and the third fermentation happens when these two parts are blended in the autoclave. Thanks to the natural fermentation, it maintains a pleasant aroma and natural sugar.
  • The period of grapes drying is about 3 months and all the grapes are chosen and cut from the roots manually, one by one! It should be “maniacally perfect”: intense color, smooth appearance, and good consistency guarantee the quality of this product.
  • This wine production dates back to the 15th century, so this example has a deep-rooted tradition within its respective area.
vernaccia di serrapetrona grapes

Grapes during the drying process

Perfect match & how to recognize the original Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

Vernaccia perfectly pairs with tasty food, as it’s a wine designed for meal times. Excellent with seasoned cheese and ciausculo (the famous spreadable salame of Le Marche).

Would you like to know how to recognize the original Vernaccia?

Franca Malavolta, the owner, gave us many tips to help us in recognizing the original one. Are you ready to take note?

  • The original one is sparkling. If you see a still wine, be sure: it could be another local wine, but it’s a not Vernaccia di Serrapetrona.
  • The Vernaccia could never be from the last year: it must be prepared for 2 years before being sold.
  • If you see a bottle of Vernaccia di Serrapetrona produced in another Italian comune, be sure that it’s not the traditional wine.
  • Don’t trust wine bottles at very low prices. This specific wine cannot be very cheap, as the procedure to prepare it is very long, detailed, and requires much physical space and manual work.
colle luce serrapetrona

Ph.Credits Facebook Page Colleluce

A must-see: the traditional festival Appassimenti Aperti

Can you understand now why this wine is so special? If so, I’ll share with you an amazing regional event that is a must-see! Again, it’s another case of a traditional event attended only by locals. I’ve been there last year and it was an incredible experience!

Usually, in the middle of November, the Appassimenti Aperti festival invites the visitors to enjoy some days of wine tasting in the main square and inside the wineries. In this period, is possible to see the grapes during the drying process, which could be in wood boxes or hanging all the grapes in cords, inside large rooms. For me, it was a unique experience!

Dried grapes during the appassimenti aperti festival

Dried grapes during the appassimenti aperti festival

Not only Vernaccia di Serrapetrona

Vernaccia is the most famous wine in Serrapetrona, but there’re many other exquisite local wines. Other excellent wines are Serrapetrona D.O.C (still wine), Red Wine 100% prepared with Vernaccia Nera, Red Raisin Wine, and Marche Rosso Passito. Each one is perfect for different occasions and combinations.

wine dried grapes

More details about the winery Colleluce

I personally love knowing the history behind a family-owned company. Mrs. Franca was a super host and explained to us the production details and many curiosities about their products. For me, it means transparency and warm behavior. For example, she unveiled that their wine’s names have specific stories. 87 km, name of the wine “Marche Rosso Passito”, is the distance between their house and their winery. Each bottle contains many personal stories, passion and a unique identity! I recommend you visit this winery and have a pleasant chat with the owners: they will make you feel at home.

You’re not going to find their wines in supermarkets or gross distribution channels. To taste it, you can contact them directly, or you can enjoy it in some specific restaurants and wine shops.

colle luce owner

Franca Malavolta, Colleluce owner, during the harvest Ph.Credits Colleluce Facebook Page

Maggi & Vecchioni

We had also the pleasure to know Yuri Maggi, a young guy who has an organic farm in Serrapetrona. They have livestock of cows, pigs and chicken, and delicious genuine products: salame, olive oil, marmalade, and the famous local “ciausculo”. In addition, they organize also local food tasting in their lodge. During my trip to Serrapetrona, I had the opportunity to discover his authentic local products. How can I describe it? It has a homemade flavor, and it seems it was made by the grandma’s own hands: it’s delicious!  It’s so nice to see young guys like him, that shows a lot of passion for his land, his job, and his roots.

ciausculo

Yuri Maggi

About the social table & offline connections

Knowing new people from Le Marche is always a rich experience for me! In this region, the behavior changes significantly from area to area.

I was used to living in big cities, where it is more normal to find unnatural behaviors. So, something that really makes me feel good here is the people’s genuineness, it’s disarming. During this blog tour, local bloggers and Instagrammers made me feel like at a lunch with friends, in a kind of “homemade environment”. Social media and mobile phones were used with moderation, and offline connections were turned on! How do you not enjoy it?

serrapetrona social table

Social Table

Places to visit in Serrapetrona

During your trip here, I recommend that you enjoy the surroundings. Must-do: a pleasant walk in the city center and a visit to S. Francesco Church, one of the main attractions of Serrapetrona.

If you like sport, Caccamo Lake is perfect for fishing, rowing, and many other aquatic sports.

Curiosity: Do you know in Serrapetrona that there’s a real dinosaur skeleton? It belonged to the geologist Giorgio Recchi, an eccentric and solitary person who left an impressive legacy to the area: many Roman, Egyptian, and Piceno archaeological finds. This historical treasure is preserved in the Palazzo Claudi in the city center (please note that the Museum is not open all days).

serrapetrona church san francesco

Serrapetrona San Francesco Church

Serrapetrona Italy Map

Serrapetrona Italy map

Click on the map to see the details

Thank you for your virtual presence during my tour in Serrapetrona! So, are you ready now to prepare your bags and organize a trip here? Just take your glass of wine, chill, and enjoy!

Special thanks to the hospitality of Franca, Yuri Maggi, and Luca Terence. Thanks also for the great day with Nadia, Deborah, @danny_vero, @cuchu88, @francescacatalluto and @panguizzo.

serrapetrona tractor

Photo: My first time inside a tractor: I was happy as a child! Thanks Luca Terence for the photo!

This post was written in collaboration with “Colleluce and Maggi & Vecchioni”

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