Thanks to the international success of Amarone, many consumers have shown their interest in this small area of the province of Verona, however, Valpolicella wines have been famous since ancient times.
The blending of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes and their different processing methods give rise to wines typical of this land: Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, Recioto and Amarone.
Valpolicella wines are characterized by the use of local native varieties but the basis is mainly given by Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella.
If Rondinella proves to be particularly important for the shades of colour it gives to the wine, Corvina and Corvinone, rich in polyphenols and tannins, express their best in the structure.
Its essential characteristics are: moderate alcohol content, medium-high total acidity and light structure. It is an easy-drinking wine with low tannins, lively garnet colour shades, fragrant and fresh notes of flowers and sour cherry.
VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE DOC
Valpolicella Superiore differs from Valpolicella in higher alcohol content, lower acidity, increased roundness, higher values of phenolic substances and extracts; according to the Production Specifications it must age for a year minimum.
“Superiore” is made from selected grapes grown in suitable locations and it ages for a year minimum thus obtaining its characteristic ruby-red colour with garnet shades; the nose is slightly ethereal and with hints of vanilla; the flavour is fine, harmonious, dry and velvety.
VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO DOC
Valpolicella Ripasso DOC is obtained from the contact between basic Valpolicella and residual Amarone lees for about 15/20 days.
It is characterized by a heavier structure and longevity. If compared to basic Valpolicella the alcohol content is higher, the acidity lower, the roundness more marked and the values of the phenolic substances and extracts are higher. Ruby-red in colour with garnet shades, it offers a slightly ethereal perfume of red fruits with notes of vanilla.
For its pleasant characteristics it perfectly pairs with winter first courses, main courses, cold cuts and medium-seasoned cheese.
Wrongly considered a lower rank product compared to Amarone, “Valpolicella Ripasso” has recently been subject to an exponential increase in consumers’ liking.
This is surely due to its high quality/price ratio, in part also due to market trends and to the fascination of a wine appreciated by the younger generations.
RECIOTO DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG
The grape-drying process lasts 100 to 200 days after the vintage and it is carried out in grape-drying buildings (fruttai) usually located in the hills for better weather conditions.
The most noticeable effects occur with the drying and the consequent increase of sugar content and extracts.
The result is a wine with a great structure and good alcohol content with dark flower, red fruit, spice and chocolate bouquet.
The sugar residue makes it sweet or pleasant.
AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA DOCG
If 50 years ago Recioto was considered as the most important Valpolicella wine, nowadays its symbol is Amarone.
Although grapes and process are the same, there is a big difference. Instead of interrupting fermentation when wine still has a good quantity of natural sugars, powders keep working until grape natural sugars have transformed themselves into alcohol.
Amarone has ruby-red colour, high alcohol content (from 14o to 16-17o degree alcohol content), strong structure, violet and almond bouquet and dry flavour.
In the last few years winemakers have tried to enhance sweet fruit notes that are typical of ageing process.