The Buccis have owned land and made wine in the Castelli di Jesi area as far back as the 1700s, originating in one of the “castles” themselves-Montecarotto. Their impressive heritage might have daunted a lesser man than Ampelio Bucci who has succeeded in maintaining the best of tradition - old vines, wholly estate-grown fruit, the area’s own varieties; while revolutionizing quite a few of Italy’s traditional winemaking tenets - most notably, the old assumption that whites should be lighter, cooler, shorter-lived and reds steer clear of mellowness, liveliness, and fish.
His partner in excellence is an Italian genius of style and vision, oenologist Giorgio Grai. Not content with the estate’s longtime standing as the benchmark of the appellation, Bucci and Grai have embarked on the arduous but rewarding course of officially certified, 100% organic farming which came to fruition in 2002. Total acreage under vine is 64-52 acres of Verdicchio and 12 acres of Montepulciano and Sangiovese yielding the Rosso Piceno DOC. Soil is mainly clayey/calcareous, and crops are kept very limited, less than half the permissible crop yields as established by DOC regulations. There are six vineyards at present, five of which are entirely devoted to Verdicchio and one, San Fortunato, is split into the two types of red grapes. The vines are very old. Together with the densely planted stock, green harvest, and severe selection of the grapes, only 2-2.4 tons per acre were produced for the Rosso Piceno Pongelli, and 2.4-2.8 tons per acre for the other wines.
Vinification and elevage take place in the underground winery, which maintains a naturally cool temperature making refrigeration unnecessary: yet another example of Bucci’s devotion to being eco-friendly. Equipment is split into stainless steel, Slavonian oak barrels, and Allier oak barrels ranging from 25-40 hl. in capacity for Pongelli, and 50-75 hl for the white wines. The distinct Verdicchio vineyards are vinified separately, then blended before bottling, with the blend carefully orchestrated from vintage to vintage. Bucci Verdicchio is so complex and structured that bottling occurs very late, usually from June to August for the regular, thus ensuring great natural stability and longevity.