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Over the years, Pecorino has been known under many aliases in the locations in which it was cultivated: Uva [grape] Pecorina or Uva delle Pecore [of the sheep], recalling the areas where sheep farming was practiced and this grape variety was common, but also Pecorino d’Arquata, Pecorina arquatanella, or Arquitano. The last three names derive from the area of Arquata del Tronto. This area, where Pecorino was “rediscovered,” also gives a clue about its characteristics. In these hills, over 1,000 metres above sea level, the vine displays its hardiness in harsh weather. Its elongated bunches are shaped as irregular cones, the small to medium sized grapes are spherical, and the skin is thin and fairly firm. Its leaves are of medium size, heart-shaped and rounded, with five scarcely separated and serrated lobes; they are supported by pale green stems with reddish hues. The shoots are slender, reddish, and quite knotty.
The hills of the Piceno offer the most suitable terroir to this vine and favour its consistently early harvest. Its musts, high in sugar and acids, yield wines characterised by a rich aroma, high acidity, and longevity. A fortunate exposure to the sun and the night breezes from the Sibillini mountains create the microclimate that leads to Pecorino’s remarkable balance, a balance of “exaggerated” figures for a wine born of a white grape vine: high sugar concentration, acids level over 8 g/l, pH around 3, and net dry extract greater than 24 g/l. A long-lived wine, potent and filled with energy, pleasantly savoury because rich in minerals, ashes, and acids.
Studies have been conducted at the Marche Polytechnic University comparing samples of wine from the Tenuta Cocci Grifoniof vintages between 1997 and 2007 to bottles of Offida Pecorino DOC from other producers; these chemical composition studies show that the higher alcohols reach optimum levels in the Pecorino samples of the Tenuta Cocci Grifoni where they are present in higher concentrations than in the wines from other local producers. No short chain fatty acids have been detected in all samples analysed: a clear indication of the quality of the product. The measured esters concentrations are generally high; this factor has an overriding impact on the "fruity" aroma that characterises this wine. Finally, it must be mentioned that salicylic acid, a substance having notable healthful effects, has been detected in most samples from the Tenuta Cocci Grifoni The analysis of the organoleptic profile has also shown that the aroma of the samples from the Tenuta Cocci Grifoni intensifies as the wines age.