Mountains, hills, vineyards, fields and a fortified village – that is one way to describe Loretello. But the village and its castle are also one of the best-preserved examples of defensive building from the early Middle Ages. And the landscape of the Marche is well typified by this kind of rural historical buildings, especially in its inland area. Loretello's origins are mysterious – some people state that Romans used to dwell here in ancient times, while others point to a more recent foundation. Anyway, these rumours are a clear demonstration of the strong bond existing between people, their countryside and its traditions.
Loretello stands guard over the valley of the Fenella torrent. Here, looking from one side, observers can admire the gorgeous panorama of the mountains Catria and Nerone, with their abrupt slopes. From the other side, visitors are treated to a breathtaking view of our gently rolling hills, extending as far as the sea on the clearest days. These lands are still cultivated with the same care and respect of the good old days.
Ours is a fragmented, share-farmed agricultural area, graced by century-old oaks and surrounded by woodland belts, and by fields changing colours with the change of seasons. Winter, spring, summer and autumn – every single season brings a rather stunning view to be admired, by tourists or simply curious observers alike. And all of this is made possible thanks to the different hues offered by our lands, from the golden yellow of sunflowers to the gentle purple of lucerne fields.
Our vineyards grow in this many-coloured setting. The main grape variety grown here is Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Other local varieties are red wine grapes such as Sangiovese and Montepulciano, which are mixed together to create Rosso Piceno.
In the early 13th century, the Politi family name is mentioned for the first time among the worthies of the fortified village of Loretello. It is a passing, recurring reference, and as centuries went by, the Politi family has been ever increasingly associated with wine growing. Towards the end of the 18th century, our cellars kept about 60 hectolitres of wine. Quite a decent production if we consider those times, however old documents cannot tell us anything about what kind of wine that was. Nonetheless, they are proof of the family's constant presence on these lands, and of its love for the fine art of wine making.
More than eight centuries have gone by since that first mention. In the meantime, Loretello and its countryside have seen a long succession of various rulers, wars and conflicts. The village itself has been owned by different people, but Cantine Politi still manage to transmit the family's love for their land and its fruits. It is not just a family-run business, but a real passion. Nowadays, Cantine Politi are steadily increasing their business. The oldest records state that the family's agricultural property used to stretch for ten hectares, while nowadays it extends for a hundred hectares. The DOC white wine of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is grown on 24 of them, while Rosso Piceno DOC (a blend of the red grapes Montepulciano and Sangiovese) is grown on another 4. Moreover, 2 hectares are maintained as an olive grove. The method of crop rotation (pulses in sequence with cereals) is used on the rest of the land to replenish the soil structure and fertility, and to limit the use of fertilisers and pesticides. Cantine Politi still use their old barrel-vaulted cellars, where red wines are aged in large barrels. White grapes are processed inside more modern cellars, to produce Verdicchio. Shortly, a restoration work of the ancient caves below our buiding's 15th-century tower house will be undertaken. History and passion, that is the motto of Cantine Politi.
Quality is at the core of our philosophy. Vineyards are tended to with great dedication and in an environment-friendly way, in compliance with the strictest European standards. The processed grapes are thus guaranteed to respect those health and safety norms, which consumers expect more and more nowadays.
Vines are patiently and carefully hand tended, preened and pruned. Each stock is monitored to limit the total bud count, so that the product's quality is guaranteed. Bunches are then cut and selected in order to obtain the grapes with the most potential.
The harvest represents the culmination of a year's hard work in the vineyard. Grapes are picked exclusively by hand, safely delivered to the winery and immediately processed. Next, there are three basic steps involved in wine making: soft pressing, cold settling of the must, and a temperature-controlled fermentation. Lastly, sur lie ageing allows the finished product to gain fullness and a more aromatic complexity.