Il Conte Villa Prandone – Presenting Marche’s Potential

Il Conte Villa Prandone – Presenting Marche’s Potential.

Chances are you have tasted your fair share of Italian wines from renowned regions such as Tuscany and Piemonte. In this article, however, we are delving into a slightly less familiar yet rising area: the Marche region. This hidden gem is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, but after a tasting of Il Conte Villa Prandone wines it is abundantly clear that the region deserves more attention and praise. 

Italy’s Marche Region

Marche is situated between the bright blue Adriatic Sea on the east and the snow-capped Apennine mountains in the west. Generally, the climate is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. The coastal areas receive cooling sea breezes, which moderate temperatures, while more inland areas are influenced by continental climate patterns. Due to its positioning between the sea and the mountains, the region experiences sunny days with slightly chilly nights, resulting in a beautiful slow aging of the grapes and a lively acidity in the wines. 

Il Conte Villa Prandone

Il Conte Villa Prandone winery is nestled in the picturesque hills of Monteprandone at 250 meters above sea level and 7 kilometers from the Adriatic Coast. The family estate revolves around three elements: history, terroir and style. For three generations, the De Angelis family has lived on the estate and followed their passion for wine. 

The 50 hectares of vineyards are largely planted with native grape varieties, such as Pecorino, Passerina, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. With a southerly aspect, the vines benefit from the maritime breezes blowing from east and west. Using traditional and minimal intervention techniques, the aim of their winemaking is to produce elegant wines that find a beautiful balance between fruit identity and drinkability and deliver a unique expression of the terroir. 

Il Conte Villa Prandone has been ran by the De Angelis family for three generations now.

A tasting of Il Conte Villa Prandone

We had the privilege to delve deeper into the Marche region as a whole and to gain insights into the unique offerings of the Il Conte Villa Prandone winery through a tasting of five of their exquisite wines.

The line-up of Il Conte Villa Prandone we tasted.

Cavceppo| 2022 | 100% Passerina | €16

The Cavaceppo is named after the hill where the Passerina grapes are cultivated. After selection, the grapes undergo a short maceration with the solid parts and are then separated from the must. Fermentation is done as purely as possible at controlled temperatures (16-18 degrees) after which the wine is conserved for 6 months in stainless steel tanks. 

In the glass, the Cavaceppo has a nice straw yellow color. It is a fresh and fruity wine with distinct aromas of peach and fresh pineapple and some lovely floral notes. In the mouth the wine has an energetic acidity, which beautifully balances the sweet aromas of the tropical fruit. This mouth filling wine is meant to be enjoyed young and preferably somewhere in the sun. No food is necessary; this wine is fresh, juicy and exciting enough on its own. 

We award the Ceppo with a 91-point DWA score.

Navicchio | 2022 | 100% Pecorino | €19

The Navicchio hill has Pecorino vines of up to 35 years old. The grapes are harvested quite early, at the end of August or beginning of September. At first light, the grapes are carefully picked and selected, in order to help contain the gentle acidity that is necessary to balance the sweet fruit aromas. After a soft pressing, the grapes undergo a short skin maceration and immediate separation of the must. The vinification and ageing is done in concrete tanks and amphoras. 

This is a bright yellow wine with golden hints and a beautiful nose. Its bouquet is fruity and complex, with a spiciness and energy to it and aromas of green apple, lemon, peach and spices. It is a aromatic wine with a lovely body and great energy. Where the Ceppo is meant to be enjoyed young and on its own, the Navicchio shows great aging potential and asks for a meal to demonstrate and balance its complexity. 

We award the Navicchio with a 91-point DWA score. 

Marinus | 2020 | 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese | €27

The Marinus is a typical blend for the region. With 70% Montepulciano, the wine falls within the Superiore DOP, which sets itself apart from the Classico classification. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature of around 24 to 28 degrees. The juice undergoes 20 days skin contact before it matures in second cycle barrique for one year. After bottling, the wine is stored for another 6 months before it is released on the market. 

The Montepulciano grapes gives the wine its intense color and structure. The Sangiovese grapes add a level of elegance and red fruit flavors. The wine has a freshness of luscious red and dark fruit to it, such as cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant. The use of wood provides a charming vanilla sweetness and velvety tannins, resulting in a smooth drinking experience. The wine is fresh, silky and elegant, and shows the potential to age in a graceful way. 

We award the Marinus with a 91-point DWA score.

Zipolo | 2020 | 70% Montepulciano, 15% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot | €30

In the process of making and perfecting this wine, it was tasted so many times that they decided to name the wine after the tool that is used to taste wine directly form the barrique; the Zipolo. Il Conte Villa Prandone usually only uses native grapes, but this blend also has 15% merlot. The addition of this international grape provides a level of elegance to the wine. The Zipolo is produced in extremely limited quantities and only in the right vintages. The selected grapes are fermented for 15 to 25 days at a controlled temperature of around 22 to 28 degrees. The wine undergoes aging in new oak barrels for 2 years and is matured in the bottle for another 12 months. 

The Zipolo has a deep ruby red color with violet shades. It shows beautiful rich dark forest fruit aromas, such as blackberries, plums and blackcurrant, harmoniously combined with vanilla and chocolate notes. The wine asks for a bit of time and air, but once it has opened up, it showcases creamy tannins and a luscious structure. This is a wine that is great now, but will truly show itself after a longer maturation in the bottle.  

We award the Zipolo with a 93-point DWA score. 

5 Lu Kont | 2020 | 100% Montepulciano | €40

Named after the grandfather, who was lovingly nicknamed ‘the count’, this wine is made from a single grand cru vineyard producing only two bunches of grapes per vine. Sadly, the grandfather passed away just before the first vintage was released, but his memory and legacy live on through this flagship wine. The carefully selected grapes undergo 20 days of vinification after which the juice is transferred to barriques, where it settles for 15 months. After this, the wine is moved to concrete tanks for another 15 months. Usually it is the other way around, tanks first, then barrels, but this 100% Montepulciano thrives and shows more balance and a rounded flavor when produced this particular way. 

This is an exquisite, intense and full-bodied wine. It is robust and powerful, but also shows a level of elegance and complexity. Open the wine a couple hours before you plan to enjoy it, and lovely fruit aromas of raisins, fig and blackcurrant will jump out of your glass, together with notes of vanilla, dark chocolate and coffee. It is definitely a wine that should be paired with a meal and could still mature and develop into an even more sophisticated wine over time. 

We award the Lu Kont with a 94-point DWA score.


We are deeply impressed with the Il Conte Villa Prandone wines. After recently undergoing a rebranding, the bottles have transformed from traditional, classic Italian labels and Bordeaux style bottles to a fresh, clean and classy style in Burgundy bottles showing a beautiful and clear coherence. The wines are balanced, aromatic and lively. They need time and air to truly open up and a proper meal to present their full potential. As a result, drinking Il Conte Villa Prandone wines is a beautiful way to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life. 

Price:               In tasting order: €16, €19, €27, €30, €40

Taste date:     February 2024 

Score:             In tasting order: 91/100, 91/100, 91/100, 93/100, 95/100

Website:         Il Conte Villa Prandone

This article is written by our own Chanti de Jong (@vinoconchanti). We would like to thank Il Conte Villa Prandone and Studio Cru for their time, insights and of course their beautiful wines. Picture credits: Il Conte Villa Prandone.