Stefano Mancinelli started his winery as a young man in the seventies; in 2012 he was joined by Luca, his eldest son, who has fast become essential. Their vineyard is planted with Lacrima and Verdicchio and a tiny plot of Moscato. Lacrima is truly an oddball, a red grape with a unique flavour profile that is only found around the town of Morro d’Alba. There are other wines in Italy called Lacrima, so the name has been extended for the sake of absolute clarity. Similarly, Morro d’Alba is one of the Castelli di Jesi (Castle towns of the Jesi province) and so the Verdicchio grown in this area also becomes ‘Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi’.
In the eighties Lacrima’s fortunes were on the wane, Mancinelli was not the only estate that stuck with Lacrima di Morro D’Alba through its dark days, but I doubt anybody has worked as tirelessly as Stefano to promote it at tastings and events throughout Italy and Europe. He regularly covers sixty thousand miles a year in his overworked Merc, the ever-growing community of Lacrima producers owe him quite a debt.
Remarkably 80% of their wine is sold from Mancinelli’s cellar door so there is not that much left for export markets, which somehow feels right. There is a very human scale to this family business. Every product is cast from the land by father and son: there is quite a range of produce and no fear of experimentation, however the core is uninterrupted: Lacrima and Verdicchio.
Unusually Stefano also established a distillery, pocket sized and excellent. His grappa from Lacrima and Verdicchio are the best available. They also have a small Olearia on the premises and have created a range of naturally flavoured olive oils. Their latest venture was to convert a historical building on the town square into holiday apartments. Stefano’s wife, Elena, runs these and they are quite immaculate. It is an excellent base from which to explore the Marche, close to Ancona and the beach, there is nothing not to love.