Valpolicella


Valpolicella is a viticultural zone of the province of Verona. Altogether the production zone is around 45 km long from east to west and between 5 and 8 km wide, with an altitude range of 150 to 350 metres above sea level. Valpolicella Classico comes from vineyards located in the restricted area comprising the five communes which made up the original, historic production zone, Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Fumane, San Pietro in Cariano, Marano and Negrar, and it must be vinified in the area.

Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian DOC wine production. The wine known as Valpolicella is typically made from three grape varietals: Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara. Of all the red varieties grown in the region, by far the most important is Corvina. Excellently suited to drying, Corvina brings depth of colour, concentration and an unmistakable aroma of cherries to the wines of the Valpolicella. Most Valpolicellas are light, fragrant table wines in flavor. "Valpolicella" appeared in charters of the mid 12th century, combining two valleys previously thought of independently. Its etymology is unknown; it might derive from the Latin for 'Vallis-polis-cellae', meaning "Valley of the many cellars".

The warm breezes that, ascending the valleys of the Valpolicella from Lake Garda meet the cooler air streams of the Monti Lessini, create meso-climates ideal for cherries, olives and above all grapes for wine. In addition, the autumn and winter climates favour the gradual drying of the grapes in the traditional fruit lofts which is fundamental for the production of top quality Recioto and Amarone. Soils vary slightly from valley to valley, but are characterised across the area as a whole by stony sub-soils and a high percentage of limestone.

Valpolicella Superiore is the denomination reserved for wines with higher levels of alcohol and extract and lower acidity than simple Valpolicella.

Partially raisined grapes also plays a role in one of the Valpolicella, known as Ripasso. This involves either macerating the fermented skins of grapes used to make Recioto with fresh Valpolicella, or refermenting a fresh wine with dried grapes.

  • Grapes: blend of grapes: Corvina Veronese, also known as Cruina or simply Corvina (40% to 80%) Corvinone (which may substitute up to 50% of the Corvina in the blend) Rondinella (5%-30%) and up to 15% of other non-aromatic red wine varieties recommended and/authorised for the province of Verona, with a upper limit of 10% on any one variety.
  • Colour: lively ruby red colour with garnet edges.
  • Bouquet: profumes of fresh fruit and floral nose with distinctive cherry aromas and hint of bitterness in the finish.
  • Flavour: light-to-medium bodied wine with moderate alcohol and moderate to high acidity. Often a touch of zippy malic acid.
  • Aging: Minimum 12 months Valpolicella Superiore.
  • Alcohol: 12%, Superiore 12,5 %
  • Best served with: delicious with Italian starters, light meats, sausages, light cheeses.
  • Serving temperature: 18-20 C opening the bottle in advance.