The Story: “Pecorino? Pecorino! Like the cheese?”
The grape does, in fact, take it’s name from the cheese. Back in the day, wine producers used sheep to control the grass levels between the vines. A beautifully organic method of farming. The sheep would then go off and make Pecorino cheese, and the farmer would go off and make Pecorino wine. And incidentally, if you’re after a taste sensation, this wine pairs really bloody well with the cheese. I highly recommend trying the combo.
The Pecorino grape is native to Italy and has been used in local wines for centuries. It’s a difficult grape to grow with low yields so popularity fell to mass-market grape varieties which could make the wine-makers much more money. The grape was even thought to be lost until it was discovered again in the 1970’s in Le Marche. It’s a fabulous little grape and when you can get your hands on a bottle (not easy) it’s certainly worth it.
We met the wine makers, identical twin sisters, Valeria and Alessia at a wine tasting in the basement of a building in San Severino in Le Marche. It was an incredibly warm and muggy night in the cellars. We were surrounded by people, and whilst I was concentrating on the wines, an Italian Chow Chow was concentrating on getting a little over-friendly with my leg. A rather unique introduction to a wine! I will never forget trying Valeria and Alessia’s wines, not only for the dog, but because their wines had something really special about them. The taste was quite unique and stood out above all the others.
I later found out that the wine is made in cement tanks – not the steel tanks that you would expect. The juice is left on the lees for 6 months which gives the wine an almost creamy complexity. It’s a real dreamboat of a wine. My advice: just try to avoid randy little Chows whilst drinking it.
Professional Tasting Notes