Bianchello del Metauro: Hasdrubal’s failure

The Region Marche – with its picturesque hilly lanscape overlooking the Adriatic sea – represent an ideal area for the cultivation of some particular wine grapes, such as Bianchello del Metauro.

The vine variety of grapes named Bianchello del Metauro, or Biancame, is distinguished by its pale color and is typical of the northern part of the region Marche, in the Province of Pesaro Urbino, the whole valley from the city of Fano up to Urbania, in-between  the towns of Pergola and Fossombrone.

Bianchello del Metauro has ancient origins, its production dates back to 500 Before Christ, while first documents come from writings of famous Roman historian Tacitus. There is a deep connection between Roman history and the area of the region Marche. There are several proofs of Roman domination on the area of the Province of Pesaro Urbino: archs, walls, paving and streets have been absorbed by our contemporary everyday life, so that we can remember our past.

Not only architecture and roads: Romans had traditions, like for instance the Holidays of Emperor Augustus (“Feriae Augusti”, the pagan origin of our contemporary “Ferragosto”, i.e. Italian Public Holiday celebrated on 15 August)  that remains, though it is updated in a modern and/or religious way, and indeed in Tacitus’ reports war and wine bump into each other.

The vine variety of grapes named Bianchello del Metauro, or Biancame, is distinguished by its pale color and is typical of the northern part of the region Marche, in the Province of Pesaro Urbino, the whole valley from the city of Fano up to Urbania, in-between  the towns of Pergola and Fossombrone.

Bianchello del Metauro has ancient origins, its production dates back to 500 Before Christ, while first documents come from writings of famous Roman historian Tacitus. There is a deep connection between Roman history and the area of the region Marche. There are several proofs of Roman domination on the area of the Province of Pesaro Urbino: archs, walls, paving and streets have been absorbed by our contemporary everyday life, so that we can remember our past.

Not only architecture and roads: Romans had traditions, like for instance the Holidays of Emperor Augustus (“Feriae Augusti”, the pagan origin of our contemporary “Ferragosto”, i.e. Italian Public Holiday celebrated on 15 August)  that remains, though it is updated in a modern and/or religious way, and indeed in Tacitus’ reports war and wine bump into each other.

bianchello-del-metauro-vitigno
Biancame or Bianchello is a white grape variety typical of the northern part of the region Marche, where it is cultivated in the area of the river Metaurus.
bianchello-del-metauro-bicchiere
Bianchello del Metauro, with ist pale yeallow, delicate aroma, dry fresh and round taste.

Tacitus tells that Hasdrubal, Hannibal’s brother, lost the Battle of Mataurus because of the wine named “Bianchello”. The battle took place in the area of the river Metaurus in 207 Before Christ, during the Second Punic War. Hasdrubal wanted the Carthaginians to reach Rome, to help his brother during the siege, but he failed and was stopped by Roman army. Instead of Spanish elephants and the supporting Gallic army, Hasdrubal – probably outnumbered – lost the battle, also due to the previous day partying with wine.

Time has gone but Bianchello del Metauro remains today one of the typical dry wines in the region Marche, with its fruity and delicate aroma and its pale and almost crystal yellow. The wine is not particularly strong in alcool and truly represents the features of its production area, perfect in its flavor for shellfish, crustacean and delicate fish dishes, but also of pasta and risotto.

Bianchello del Metauro DOC (Denominazione di Orgine Controllata) includes also its “Superiore” variety which is more structured and sapid, “Spumante” with its sparkles and citrusy taste, and “Passito” derived from dehydration of grapes with its honey and dry apricot tastes.

Many tourists and local people appreciate this wine for its fresh and simple taste. It is spread over the area, we know it keeps a long and happy history, but also it had a key role during the war between Roman and Carthaginian armies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *