The Wine Cellar
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Region: Veneto


Valpolicella, which means something along the lines of ”valley with many cellars”, is located in what is known as the Alps' last spasms, at the base of Monti Lessini. The zone starts northwest of Verona, around S. Ambrogio di Valpolicella, and goes in a fan east to the Gazzano di Tramigna comune. The area is dominated by a row of pretty valleys with streams that all run from north to south.

The Classico zone, the original zone, lies in the western part, with the cities of Gargagnano, Fumane, Marano, Negrar and San Pietro in Cariano, among others, where the best wines originate, while the remaining area is made up of Valpantena, which is a part of a range of valleys towards the east, including Val di Mezzane, Val d’Illasi and Val Tramigna, which is farthest east. The wines from these valleys carry the name Valpantena on the label.

The difference between the Classico zone and the eastern part of Valpolicella appears in the combination of the cool of Monti Lessinis and the friendly warmth of Largo di Garda, which make it possible to grow wine on the valley side in the west, while it's much more difficult in the east.

Valpolicella is a so-called combination wine produced primarily from the grapes Corvina or Corvinone (body, volume and taste), Rondinella (color, aroma and structure) and Molinara (slight bitterness and acidity). Other local, non-aromatic red grapes are also added.

The grape composition means that the wine is often compared with Bardolino, but there is, however, a great difference between these two, in terms of the aging potential, depth and power. Valpolicella, for example, covers an impressive taste spectrum.

To put it bluntly, you can divide the zone's wines up into two types: Valpolicella (Valpentena) and Valpolicella Superiore, produced from non-dried grapes, and the two Passito types, Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto della Valpolicella, produced from dried grapes. But between these types you'll also find Valpolicella Ripasso, which is produced using an old, local technique of pouring light wine over the pomace from the Amarone production.


Did you know?

Italy extends over 10 latitudes – from continental climate to subtropical climate?