Right on the outskirts of fair Verona, lies a land that since the dawn of civilization has been described as charming and plentiful… Valpolicella welcomes you with its various yet always breath-taking landscapes in its valleys. Take a hike up the Lessini mountain group, part of the Veneto Prealps, to find old mills, waterfalls, fossils and unique stone formations, among grazing cows and lodges that will heartily feed you after a long day outdoors! Its hills show a two-faceted soul, as they are both wild — full of trees and woods — and cultivated, sprinkled with olive trees and grapevines that grow on ledges locally called “marogne”. You will find vines all around the lower part of Valpolicella, too, sharing spaces with orchards of world-renowned peaches and cherries.
Valpolicella is the most ancient area of wine production in Italy, and one of the most important ones, too. Here, wine continues to be created by blending ancient wisdom and modern techniques, using autochthonous vines such as Corvina (purple, thick-skinned grapes with light tannins, hints of cherry and plum), Corvinone (dark blue, large grapes in a pyramid-shaped bunch, used as a reinforcement of Corvina, with light tannins and a complex aromatic spectrum), Rondinella (as dark as the feathers of a swallow, “rondine”, it’s probably the most widespread vine in Valpolicella), Oseleta (thick-skinned grapes with good tannins, grouped in small bunches that look like small birds, whence its name from the dialectal term for “bird”) and Molinara (light-coloured, with a very waxy dust, so much that the grapes seem almost coated in flour coming from a mill — in dialect, “molino”).
This great variety of vines grows in different parcels on diverse altitudes throughout the valleys: when blended together, they give life to wines with unique and fascinating variations of aromas and flavours.
“Dry, red and cordial, like the home of a brother one gets on with” — these are the words used by Ernest Hemingway to describe a glass of Valpolicella, a wine he famously loved. This area is the birthplace of Valpolicella DOC (= controlled designation of origin), Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Valpolicella Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (= controlled and guaranteed designation of origin) and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG; the label “Classico” can be added for those wines produced inside the ancient traditional areas, comprising the five original communities of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Fumane, San Pietro in Cariano, Marano di Valpolicella and Negrar.
While Valpolicella DOC and Valpolicella Superiore DOC are produced using fresh grapes, our other wines rise out of an ancient Mediterranean winemaking tradition: making wine using raisined grapes, an ingenious way to create a stronger wine and to get more complex and intense flavours.
The grapes selected for Recioto — a sweet red wine, considered the ancestor of the Amarone — usually come from vineyards with a southwestern exposure, where they are able to develop a higher sugar content, while those selected for Amarone — probably the best known wine of Valpolicella — come from parcels with an eastern exposure, where the grapes are allowed to ripe slowly, in order to get the perfect balance necessary for the finest of wines.
Every step of the way, you will get to know more and more about our beautiful land: our guides can’t wait to introduce you to all of its beauties and tastes! Just book one of our wine tasting tours and be prepared to feast your eyes on the scenery and to amaze your senses with our amazing Valpolicella wines!