Marche Food & Wine

Vino di visciole

Il Visner 

The story goes that the Duke Federico da Montefeltro would not drink wine “se non de ciriege (if not of cherries) or of pomegranate. And that aromatic and sweet wine is today produced in the centre of Pergola, in the silence softened by odorous cellars wrapped in magic atmosphere of mysterious alchemy.

This is how Visner is born, real and proper elixir created from the union of good red wine (usually Montepulciano or a red sort of wine from Pergola) and juicy visciole (sour cherries). In many zones of the Marches the habit of home-made distillates and liqueurs is still alive. Visner (the production of which is restricted to a small area in the province of Pesaro and Urbino) is one of the most exquisite results of this tradition. It is the fruit of creative intuition of him who was the first to try to leave small and sweet sour cherries soaked in already ripe red wine.

An old, apparently simple recipe handed over from generation to generation, slowly evolved and brought to present time this wine brimmed over with special delight. Intense violet colour, charming fragrance and sweet flavour: an equilibrium not easy to obtain that, together with rareness of Prunus cerasus (sour cherry tree) make Visner be rare and precious.

Few producers of this wine – very jealous of their secret - keep from leaking of anything that regards its composition and its preparation, and offer to the estimators only a limited quantity of this sublime drink.

At the end of ripening, Visner is about 14,5% alcohol. It is, therefore, an excellent escort for cakes and biscuits (cantuccini, crostata, etc.) and it exalts the flavour of chocolate. Real pleasure is felt while sipping it slowly, tasting all its pleasant properties and ancient flavour that brings back sensations that seemed to be lost in modern times.

Once, peasants used it as refreshment while working in the fields. Only a few decades ago it was given as a universal remedy to some fortunate children. Today Visner represents a delight for connoisseurs, either offered with the greatest pride by a sommelier in the best restaurant, or exposed on shelves of the most supplied wine shops – as a valuable wine with its own rich history.

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