Saturday, May 6, 2023

Wines of Le Marche with Il Conte Villa Prandone

The Marche region is one of what I consider one of the lesser discovered regions of Italy.  Located in central Italy surrounded by the regions of Umbria, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo and touching Tuscany and Lazio.  It’s located along the Adriatic Sea with hills and mountains that roll down to the sea.  This varied geography creates a unique microclimate.   Our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group this month is hosted by Linda of My Full Wine Glass as she takes us through the regions of Abruzzo and Le Marche.  I had the opportunity to taste some great wines from Il Conte Villa Prandone located in the Marche that I’m sharing today.

The winery – Il Conte Villa Prandone 

Il Conte Villa Prandone began in 1950 when Amilcare De Angelis planted about 17 acres for sharecroppingThe winery is in the medieval village of Monteprandone in the province of Ascoli Piceno in the southern part of MarcheIn 1988 Amilcare’s son, Marino, took over the business and established the name it is known as todayHe named it after his father, which they called the count or “lu kont” in local dialectToday Marino is joined by his three sons that help him operate the winery in all its elements.   

De Angelis family of Il Conte Villa Prandone
De Angelis family
The winery has about 123 acres of which 49 acres are leasedThe vineyards are located at 150-200 meters above sea level on southwest facing slopes. The average age of the vines are 30 years old with the oldest vineyards aged at 50 years oldThe soils in the vineyards are primarily clay and limestoneThe winery makes sure to reduce yields and practice thinning with selective harvesting to ensure a higher qualityThe goal of Il Conte Villa Prandone is to make wines with “fruit identity and drinkability”.  They produce about 250,000 bottles annually from primarily native grapes to include Pecorino, Passerina, Montepulciano and Sangiovese with other small lots of other grapes.   

Il Conte Villa Prandone winery in Ascoli Piceno
Il Conte Villa Prandone practices several ways in which they practice sustainability including not using synthetic or chemical herbicides and pesticidesThey reuse waste material at the winery and are slowly converting to self-consumption of energy with their photovoltaic system.  They protect their biodiversity by preserving the flora and fauna within their environment.   They have a training program with the University of Urbino to share knowledge and propose agronomic solutions for their vineyard management and winemaking practices. 

The wines 

The 2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone Marinus Piceno Superiore DOP is a blend of 70% Montepulciano and 30% SangioveseThe grapes are softly pressed and fermented for 12-18 days preserved in stainless steel for 3 months before aging 1 year in oakDark ruby in the glass the aromas were intense filled with blackberries and cherriesThis full-bodied wine had a rustic side with rich fruit of dark berries with moderate tannins backed by nice acidity with a little spice and lengthy finish.   This wine in 2020 was listed in Wine Spectator's Top 100 selections.  ABV 14% SRP $35

2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone Marinus Piceno Superiore DOP
The 2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone Zipolo Marche Rosso IGP is a blend of 60% Montepulciano, 20% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot grapes. The grapes are fermented for 15-25 days and spent 16-24 months in oak with an additional 12 months in the bottle. Deep ruby color with purple hues. Aromas of blackberries, plum and raspberries with notes of vanilla. A medium bodied wine with juicy acidity, silky tannins and ripe fruits of those on the nose. ABV 14.5% SRP $42

2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone Zipolo Marche Rosso IGP

The 2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone IX Prandone Merlot Marche IGP is made from 100% Merlot grapes from 25-year-old vines. This wine is only made in the best vintages in limited quantities. The grapes go through a slow fermentation for 25-30 days in concrrete and an additional 30 months aging between oak, concrete and amphora plus an additional year in the bottle. A deep ruby color with purple highlights. A rich nose of ripe raspeberries, blackberries, black cherry and violets. A wonderfully complex wine that was smooth and elegant with great fruit and acidity with a touch of oak on the finish.  For sure my favorite wine of the three with the two others close behind. ABV 14.5% SRP $114 

2019 Il Conte Villa Prandone IX Prandone Merlot Marche IGP

Join the rest of our Italian food and wine lovers group as they share their personal choices from the Abruzzo or Marche wine regions of Central Italy.  You can catch us live on Twitter to chat about wines from these regions @ 11am EST at #ItalianFWT.  Have a great weekend!

  • Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm: “Welcoming Spring with Farinelli Rosé"
  • Cam from Culinary Cam: “Frecantò di Verdure, the Marche’s Version of Ratatouille, with the 2021 Colleleva Lacrima di Morro d'Alba”
  • Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles: “Pecorino from Marche and Montepulciano from Abruzzo, exploring a bit of the wild lands of Italy’s Eastern Coast”
  • Andrea from The Quirky Cork: “Pecorino Shines with Creamy Asparagus Pasta”
  • Susannah from Avvinare: “Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo, A Perfect Sip for Spring”
  • Gwendolyn from Wine Predator: “Cerasuolo from Organic Famiglia Febo and Biodynamic Lunaria Paired with Abruzzo Inspired Menu: Mussels and Saffron, Pecorino and Pasta”
  • Cindy from Grape Experiences: “Uno Spuntino! Castorani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Casauria Riserva 2015 with Grilled Pecorino Cheese Sandwiches”
  • Linda from My Full Wine Glass: “Two Verdicchio stars in the Marche wine firmament”

*These wines were received as samples, but opinions are always my own.  Importer: Orvino wine imports


  1. I agree that Marche is an underdiscovered region! So many regions now have organizations representing and promoting them, and Marche as a whole does not seem to have this (at least I could not locate one online). All the photos I have seen make it look like a stunning region, especially the Ascoli Piceno!

  2. More wines for me to track down, Jen! Thanks for sharing.

  3. These wines sound luscious and I really appreciate Il Conte Villa Prandone's sustainability practices. Great post, Jennifer!