Marche (Ancona), Italy
The charming and erudite Giuditta Politi is something of an anomaly in the hills of Jesi. A native of the Marche, her family owned a wine-and-olive estate in the hills of Arcevia, near the tiny fortified hamlet of Nidastore. Their holdings were planted mainly with a mix of Verdicchio and other vines as well as with olive trees. While growing up, Giuditta was keenly interested in studying agriculture, but decided initially that it was not for her. So instead she left home to pursue doctoral studies. She gained a PhD and became a molecular geneticist, relocating to Rome to pursue her research. However, when her father and uncle passed away she decided to return to the Marche and took over the day-to-day running of the family estate. However, upon her return, Giuditta quickly realized that she didn't actually know much about the technical processes of winemaking so she undertook to gain a Masters degree in oenology, studying for a year in Pavia. Despite her origins and significant education, it took some time for the other growers in the Marche to accept Guiditta as one of their own. But, she was determined to succeed and through hard work and sheer force of will, began to make her wines the way she wanted to make them.
Today, Giuditta’s careful and scientific approach to growing grapes and making wine has little by little earned her the respect of her neighbours and winegrowing colleagues. She has had to impress upon her farmhands the need to strive for quality instead of quantity. And though Giuditta’s approach may be rational and systematic, her wines are subtle and natural, fully expressive of the rich character of her land. Everything is picked by hand from vineyards with no chemical additives. For her Verdicchio, in order to gain a fullness and ripeness that expresses the fruit at its most vivid, she leaves a proportion of the grapes to mature longer on the vines in order to gain in extract and maturation. Fermentations take place mostly in concrete or old barrels and some stainless steel for the Verdicchio. She uses ambient yeasts and bottles her wines with minimal additional sulphites. The whites age for a further six months on their lees and the red, a blend of Montepulciano, Sangiovese and some Syrah, softens for over 6 months in large old wooden casks. The results are truly impressive and the value unmistakable! Though one might call these wines natural, Giuditta, uninterested in labels, would likely eschew such a term. For her, they are simply wines of the Marche.