Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Valpolicella – A region, A wine

Traditionally Valpolicella is a table wine. It is a simple blend of grapes that grow well in the area. Valpolicella is also a region of 7 cities directly north of Verona. It is said that the Romans named the valley meaning “many cellars”. The Romans applied the term Rhetic to the wine coming from the area around and to the south of Lake Garda but the beverage highly praised by Pliny the Elder, Virgil, Martial and Suetonius was quite clearly the wine known today as Valpolicella. That wine, named after the valley where it is produced, is different from those made in other areas strongly influenced by the mild climate produced by the water of Lake Garda in that it has a bigger body and a more intense color.

A great part of Valpolicella's worldwide reputation, however, must be attributed to two versions of the wine, the Recioto and Recioto Amarone. In making them, grape clusters are carefully selected and then dried, after the harvest, for a period varying between 30 and 90 days. Pressing and fermentation occur at times, under environmental conditions and with methods that are different from those of the normal Valpolicella, but that is another story.

Valpolicella is a farmer’s wine, nothing more, nothing less. The usual blend is 60% Corvina Veronese, 35% Rondinella, 5% Molinara. Yield 69 hl/ha from pergola-trained vines. It has a deep red/purple color, with a herby, leafy nose. Valpolicella is a full, with significant tannins and a palate of red apples and tart cherries. It is a simple wine, perfectly in harmony with the recipes of the valley. I associate Valpolicella with Lambrusco or New Wine with a kick.

Valpolicella is perfect with minestrone, fresh pasta, boiled meats and mild cheeses.

Grape: 60% Corvina Veronese, 35% Rondinella, 5% Molinara.

Color: deep red with purple highlights.

Bouquet: Forest undergrowth and herbs.

Taste: light bodied, significant tannins, fruity red apples and tart cherries.

Alcohol Content: from 12.5 %

Serving Temperature: 16-18 c.

Decanting: None.

Pouring: No special indications.

Glass: Red wine glass.

Aging: This wine should not be aged more than a couple of years.


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Blogger Travel Italy said...

Links I just noticed that a couple of my favorite wines blogs wrote about Valpolicella today!

In Italian Aristide

The Consigliere del Vino On the Wine Trail.

10:01 AM

Blogger Fratelli Vogadori said...

I would like to suggest Fratelli Vogadori winery in Negrar: it's the classic family winery that has Amarone, Recioto,Ripasso and Valpolicella.
it's really nice to taste the wines in the winery!

1:59 AM


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