References to Bianchello del Metauro wine can be found as early as the Roman period. Tacitus praised its quality and in the hot summer of 207 BC it became part of a curious legend, still told today, which recounts how Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal, stopped his advance on Rome because his Carthaginian troops were tired and thirst and easily succumbed to this young fresh nectar. We do not know how true this legend is but the fact remains that the delicate hint of sweetness in Bianchello (also known as Greco di Bianco or Biancame) has fascinated the experts, making it an excellent accompaniment to fish as well as an excellent aperitif.
Bianchello wine reaches its best in the first year and a half and also ages reasonably well up to two years, developing in flavour and maturity. It is a dry fresh wine with a light, delicate, balanced body.
The DOC label covers 18 local authority areas including Cartoceto, Saltara and Serrungarina which undoubtedly produce the finest cru.
Made from sangiovesi grapes, this wine has a fine ruby red, almost garnet, colour with a bouquet which develops with ageing into a delicate fruity aroma. It has a dry, almost fresh sapid taste. Rosso dei Colli Pesaresi wine is perfect with various kinds of pasta al ragù, with white meat cooked in the oven or roasted. It is excellent with coniglio (rabbit) cooked "in porchetta" (in the Marche this means cooked with wild fennel) but also goes perfectly with inland dishes flavoured with truffles.
The DOC "Focara" sub-classification is also worthy of mention. Here the regulations permit the addition of up to 15% of local pinot nero grapes.
Wines from the hills around Fano and the Province of Pesaro and Urbino are much prized and sought after by gourmets throughout the world. The gentle hilly countryside overlooking the Metauro valley provides fertile terrain for fine quality grapes and the local people have prized their aphrodisiac qualities for centuries.
Grapes were grown in this area as long ago as the 8th-10th Century BC by Etruscan tribes who understood the potential of the landscape, the mildness of its climate and the variety of micro-climates most favourable to this rich variety of grape.
A passion for wine-growing developed over time and has led to the production of a number of excellent wines which are now classified with the label "Denominazione di Origine Controllata".
Around the province of Pesaro and Urbino you can find the following particular DOC classified wines: "Bianchello del Metauro", "Colli Pesaresi Rosso" (including the DOC "Focara" wine), "Colli Pesaresi Bianco" (including the DOC "Roncaglia" wine) and "Novello dei Colli Pesaresi".
Wine production not just in the province but throughout the whole region has brought an increasing recognition of the quality and potential of Marche wine. Today, the region is able to offer competitive wines at international level whose genuine quality satisfies even the most demanding and refined palates.
Home production of distilled wines, digestive wines and other alcoholic drinks is still common today throughout the province of Pesaro and Urbino. For example, the making of sweet wines is still a source of great pride among wine makers throughout the province of Pesaro and Urbino.
Among these is worth noting "Vino Santo", made in the town of Sant'Angelo in Vado and the surrounding hills as well as around Pergola and produced from selected grapes gathered on south facing hillsides. But there is also "Vino cotto" from Cagli, made from an ancient recipe, and also the typical inland "Visner" or wild cherry wine, in which wine and fruit are matured together. Once upon a time farmers produced this blend of wine and cherries to quench their thirsts while working on the land but now Visner has become a delicacy served in restaurants which are proud of maintaining local traditions.
Another excellent digestive wine produced in the province is Nocino which also comes from an age-old recipe. The walnuts which go to make it are traditionally gathered on the night of the 24th June, the Feast of St John, known also as La Notte delle Streghe (or Night of the Witches).