IMT, Wine in the Plural
What do we need numbers for? To give answers to questions. However alone, they are not enough.
The Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini has authority because it has been able to construct an identity from these numbers. Starting at the beginning, IMT signifies the vineyards of the Marches region. The consortium doesn’t just oversee a single appellation or a part of the regional wine production but its sphere covers almost all of it.
With over 850 member wineries in the provinces of Ancona, Macerata and Pesaro-Urbino, there is not much this consortium created in 1999 doesn’t cover. Today it encompasses 45% of the region’s vineyards, over 8000 hectares, and 90% of the wine exported from the region. In a territory which was historically and geographically divided like a comb by rivers which outline the borders of the various Marches (Medieval districts), a certain amount of ‘stitching’ was required to create a unit able to promote the different forms and types of wine produced in the area.
The larger wineries were needed to entice the smaller wineries and these smaller wineries in turn contributed by making the highest quality wines they could to give the area’s wine production a complete and defined image. The make-up of IMT is rather similar to a digital photo, by zooming in the importance of each miniscule pixel can be clearly understood.
IMT lead by president Mr Antonio Centocanti and director, Mr Alberto Mazzoni, promotes wines from the Marches region using the most important element: the recognisability of the product. This is why numbers alone are not enough if there is no voice able to speak for them. The Institute has chosen a very innovative means of promotion and communication that creates a link between the product and its consumption: sensory analysis.
The 16 appellations (of which 12 have DOC status and 4 DOCG) have been mapped by the Centro Italiano di Analisis Sensoriale to identify the peculiarities of the wines and then translate these scientifically into understandable terms. When we use our mouths for tasting a wine, we cannot perceive the shape of the land in which it was made. The appellations need a standard language capable of making them easily understood across the world.
Especially in areas that didn’t traditionally drink wine, wines with a sensory passport are more easily positioned on the marketplace. The emotions that a wine evokes may and should be subjective but the structure to express this must follow a universally recognised structure or form. In this, IMT has moved forward over the years.
Alberto Mazzoni, at the reins of the consortium, has always applied this logic: highlight the particular characteristics of the wines, allow the wineries to grow at their own pace and in their own way and, once mature, take them around the world safe in the knowledge that they won’t be copied or counterfeited. Wineries exporting only mass, standard products risk the perils of certain market forces.
IMT is a modern institution that draws its strength from the diversity of the appellations and the areas it covers. The consortium has grown year on year becoming a large institution able to safeguard the interests of the thousands of small elements that have undersigned the project.
The Marches are synonymous with multiplicity and diversity starting right from the composition of the soils. The winning card, which was played many years ago now, was to focus on the indigenous varieties of the region. The regional directory of the indigenous varieties suitable for viticulture includes 52 grape varieties of which 30 can only be found in the Marches region.
IMT has taken a modern approach also to satisfy market and consumer demands: today consumers are only interested in products that are unique. In the world of wine, each region has its flagship.
Without a doubt, in the Marches, this is Verdicchio – once again plural thanks to the 2 different appellations one in Jesi and another in Matelica – where colours, aromas and tastes cannot be reproduced elsewhere. Verdicchio is both the most prized and most discreet white wine in Italy. There are other treasures to be found in the region such as Conero Riserva DOCG, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Vernacchia di Serrapetrona, Bianchello del Metauro, Pergola and Colli Maceratesi but only with a visit to the Marches can one fully understand the lingering taste of wines from the Marches.