La Monacesca Estate is situated in the township of Matelica in the Marche region of central Italy. It climbs from the narrow strip of coast up to a large chunk of the Apennines, hidden from the eyes of travelers. The soil composition of this area has revealed that for several millennium the waters have been retained in this mountainous inlet, leaving in its soil rich marine residuals and marl which in turn mixed into a clay, sandy composite. This vegetation-rich mountainous area was discovered around the 12th Century by a group of monks who were fleeing to the mountain range, to escape the barbaric hordes that often roamed along the coastline. On these fertile grounds, the monks, drawn to the protected natural position of the land, decided to settle and proceeded to build a monastery and work the land. In the ensuing centuries, groups of migrant peasants finished the job of colonization of the whole area, which today is called Matelica.

Worthy of particular note, because of the indispensable role it plays in the structural quality of the grapes, is the strong presence of potassium found in the chemical composition of the soil of the Estate. Potassium increases the concentration of sugar in the grapes, and allows for a stronger maturation of the vine’s branches with consequently greater resistance to the cold (the near mountain range brings plenty of snow over the Estate for almost two to three months of winter). It also provides for greater resistance to drought, a neccessary quality considering the hot summer months in these high places. Finally, the vine has a greater resistance to all forms of parasite attacks, which gives Cifola the fortunate ability to grow his grapes virtually without any form of intervention or treatments, a quality which the educated consumer has learned to treasure about these wines.

Casimiro Cifola was first attracted to the area in the early sixties, having been exposed to the delicious wines which he had obtained from the farming families who were producing wines just for local consumption, using very simple equipment and harvesting indigenous grape varietals. Cifola marveled that no one had yet given serious consideration to a winemaking venture in the area. Although he already owned a property in the lower plains of the coastline, and had no serious experience with vineyards or winemaking, he decided to invest in a winemaking venture by buying the best land available near the sight of the ancient monastery. He decided to call the estate La Monacesca which means "The Monastic Estate".

After a couple of years of experimentation with clones and plant density, finally in the late sixties, he went into wine production with the harvest of his selected vineyards of the Verdicchio varietals (80% of the vineyards) and of the Malvasia varietal (20% of the vineyards). He proceeded to produce two wines, the Verdicchio di Matelica Cifola, the product of the overall harvest of the whole estate, and the Verdicchio di Matelica La Monacesca, the Estate’s Riserva, from the harvest of his choice vineyards.

In 1981, after graduating with honors from the University of Agriculture in Bologna, Aldo Cifola joined his father in the further development of the winery. From the moment Aldo began working with his father, he initiated new techniques, placing the greatest attention on the viticulture, realizing it takes a great grape to produce a great wine. He then turned his attention to the cellar, which he completely rebuilt in 1988, with all the latest modern equipment for the production of a quality white wine. The rest is history as the wine "aficionados" have discovered with the fruity rich white wine called Verdicchio di Matelica, which is today, a high note in white wine tasting in the finest wine establishments.

Fattoria La Monacesca di Cifola Casimiro / Via D'Annunzio / 1 - 62012 Civitanova Marche MC / (0733) 812602

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