Step 4 – Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno will be one of the Grenache capitals for three days

The Piceno is a territory full of surprises. A local grape variety belonging to the Grenache family, which produces extraordinary wines, has been rediscovered here. For this reason, the competition has chosen this destination as the last stage of the 2021 travelling edition.

Ascoli Piceno, a capital of the Marche... and of grenache!

The Piceno is a territory full of surprises, starting with its geographical features, which are characterised by the presence of hills (for about 60%), mountainous areas (for more than 30%) and a small plain bathed by the Adriatic Sea.

In addition to the most common grape varieties (Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Pecorino and Passerina), a local grape variety belonging to the Grenache family has been rediscovered, which produces extraordinary wines, and which won 9 medals (out of 12 wines presented) from the judges of the 2020 edition of the Grenaches du Monde competition.

This is one of the reasons why Grenaches du Monde chose Ascoli Piceno as the last stop of the 2021 travelling edition (after Cebreros in Spain, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Perpignan in France).

The Italian tasting of the event will take place from May 31 to June 2. The official tasting of the competition will take place on June 1 in the splendid Palazzo dei Capitani in the capital of the Marche region.

Grenache as a terroir revealer

The promoter of the local initiative is Tu.Ris.Marche, the cooperative specialising in "experiential" tourist and cultural activities, which has been working since 2014 to promote the Marche region, in collaboration with the local councillor Francesca Pantaloni. Aware of the importance of wine-related events as a marketing tool for the sector and the territory that hosts them, Tu.Ris.Marche was able to federate and defend the proposal presented by a group of nine wineries in the Piceno region: Azienda Agricola Le Caniette, Azienda Agricola Pantaleone, Azienda Agricola Valter Mattoni, Azienda Agricola Poderi San Lazzaro, Azienda Agricola Clara Marcelli, Azienda Agricola Oasi degli Angeli, Azienda Agricola Dianetti, Azienda Agricola Cameli Irene, Azienda Agricola Allevi Maria Letizia.

The initiative is sponsored by the Marche Region, the Municipality of Ascoli Piceno, CNA Ascoli Piceno, the co-partnership of Linfa - Azienda Speciale Camera di Commercio delle Marche, in collaboration with Bim Tronto and Mete Picene.

Interview with Giovanni Vagnoni, spokesman for the 9 wineries that initiated the project

Maurizio Valeriani (ambassador of the Competition in Italy) talks to Giovanni Vagnoni (Azienda Le Caniette), spokesman for the 9 cellars that started the project:

  • Maurizio Valeriani: How was this biotype of Grenache rediscovered? In what context? What are the prospects and history of this variety?

Giovanni Vagnoni: Grenache, from what we have seen (it is also the subject of scientific investigations), has been around for several centuries but under a different name. Today we have identified it as belonging to the Grenache family and it is a very interesting biotype that gives us great satisfaction. The starting point was in 1998 when a few plants were discovered in our vineyards. Almost everyone here had this variety in their vineyards. So the selection was quite simple. Then the dynamism of three companies that attracted others explains the rest: the desire to produce quality wines and the desire to cultivate a very original grape variety even if it is not very productive.

  • This year, Ascoli Piceno, the capital of the Marche region, hosts one of the four tastings of the competition: what opportunities will this event offer and why did you decide to host it in your region?

It was an excellent opportunity, having proposed to the organisations in charge of this project to invite 25 journalists to the area to talk about Grenache, of course, but also about local varieties such as Passerina, Pecorino, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. At first it was just Francesca Pantaloni from the Pantaleone winery and me, but soon everyone else wanted to collaborate to promote the area. In my opinion, this will be a wonderful opportunity to introduce our still unknown region to people who can communicate it in the best possible way.

  • Maurizio Valeriani: The journalists and tasters who will be part of the juries also have high expectations, as they are eager to taste these wines, which have been mentioned several times in the Competition and have won many awards in the two previous editions of the competition.

Competition location