Updated: 9 facts about Valpolicella that you probably know wrong

If you are a Valpolicella wine lover, it's likely you know many things about this area and its wines. And it's also likely that some of those things are incorrect or totally wrong...

Here we try to correct some of the most common misconceptions about Valpolicella wines.

Harvest 2015 and a recommended reading

Harvest 2015 and a recommended reading

Afterwards a quite difficult vintage, this 2015 harvest in Valpolicella looks a lot better, mainly for the red grapes. If 2014 has been claimed by the producers (in Verona area) as “a vintage for white wines”,  2015 is a “red wines vintage” definitely. 
The 2015 vintage is quite similar to 2007 -  the Consortium Valpolicella says - The wines will be structured, full-bodied and alcoholic (15-16° Vol.)”...

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Verona Wine and Oil Top: how choosing the best wines and olive oil from Verona province

Verona Wine and Oil Top: how choosing the best wines and olive oil from Verona province

Every year, the Chamber of Commerce in Verona organizes a wine competition reserved exclusively for wines produced in the province of the city. The criteria are those of any wine competition (like Vinitaly's one), so no surprise from this side. The news is that this year also an olive oil competition has been organized, so  you can get a guide to the best labels of this product as well. The award ceremony has been hosted in Dogana Veneta, Lazise (Lake of Garda)...

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Amarone della Valpolicella Classico "Vigneti Di Jago" - A Vertical Tasting

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico "Vigneti Di Jago" - A Vertical Tasting

Making wine is often a hard task, a game of balance between opposite strengths: technical issues, legal requirements, personal knowledge and vision, local culture, international taste, marketing trends...

And climate. Too often we underestimate this detail, but  in viticulture it is among the most important element everywhere in the world. No doubts that climate in Valpolicella nowadays is rather different than in the past, and that viticulture has had to adapt itself to those changes.

Consequently, now the wines are different than in the past decades -not to mention other reasons more related to the technique or the customers' taste, of course- although the winery style may be the same at the time (or trying to be).

In the last Vinitaly, the Cantina "Valpolicella"  di Negrar organized a quite interesting vertical tasting of its recent best vintages - 2008, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1997 - of the most important Amarone della Valpolicella: the cru "Vigneti di Jago". Daniele Accordini, the general manager and winemaker, showed us some charts and data about the climate in those vintages - sunlightining, rains, flowering time and other data - explaining how the practices of their viticulture and the winemaking process are adapting themselves and trying to correctly interpret  the natural trends, in order to not distort the final result and support their usual style...

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Anteprima Amarone 2011... through Matthias Stelzig eyes

Matthias Stelzig - photo courtesy of winelover.co

Matthias Stelzig - photo courtesy of winelover.co

As usual, in the latest edition of Anteprima Amarone ("Amarone Preview", this year focused on 2011 vintage) many foreign wine journalists were invited by the main organizer of the event, the Consorzio Tutela Vini della Valpolicella. The purpose was to introduce them into Valpolicella appellation, its wineries and wines. Before and afterward the two days of the event, the journalists have had many meetings with wine producers, visits to wineries and  wine tastings... 

How did everything go? In the group of foreign guests, there was also a respectable friend of Terroir Amarone: Matthias Stelzig, a German author of wine books, who recently is shifting to web wine writing (here his article for the topic of the month). We asked him a report of his experience in Valpolicella, and here there is what he replied....

"The visits to the wineries were well prepared. Winemakers were open to proposals. One of my favorite ones is to skip the cellar tour. From my point of view, this is one of the most useful changes in press visits. As to the selection of the wineries, to me writing a lot for consumers, it is always important to find individual producers, who stand out of the crowd. Another aspect I quite liked was the organization of the daily trips. It was nice to be with different people every day. Generally, I prefer international groups, they avoid a number of problems for me.

Amarone della valpolicella wine bottles - photo courtesy of consorzio valpolicella

Amarone della valpolicella wine bottles - photo courtesy of consorzio valpolicella

This was due to the fact that wineries chose visitors from countries in which markets they are present. Basically a good idea. But for me it is generally interesting to meet new winemakers who aren't in my country, yet. However, on this trip it didn't matter much, since I was doing a general research.

In the first evening there were two presentations. Being a historian myself, I was quite interested in the content. The presenters were very knowledgeable and had done their research. But they read their speeches, which was a bit lengthy. Also, there was some technical problem with the interpretation. I would have preferred a bit more condensed information.

The food pairing at dinner was interesting, I couldn't follow some  of them, though.

On the Anteprima itself, I appreciated the sommelier service downstairs, and it was a very nice way to explore the vintage. I had some interesting chats at the stands, too.

I liked the vertical tasting in the afternoon. All the more since I think the development of style and different styles is an important aspect. In my market, Amarone is basically known as a very rich and strong wine. And there is much more to it. The presentation with the detailed tasting notes of Luca Martini was not essential to me. I would have preferred more structural information. Just tell them about the Terroir Amarone Masterclass in Montreux, that was brilliant ;)...

In the end: organization and personal contact were ok, professional and also very friendly".

Winerist: 3 Top Wineries in Valpolicella

About_Winerist_-_Winerist.jpg

We are happy and honored to announce a new important contribution and partnership with Winerist.com, the 2014 Best Travel Website. Winerist is an interesting and informative website for people all around the world who love travelling and exploring new experiences in the wine world: it  provides you suggestions and tips for your next wine destination. We'll contribute writing about Valpolicella, its territory, events, wineries and wines. Here you can find the beginning of our first post... 

"Never been to Valpolicella? If you are a wine lover, sooner or later you’re going to have to visit this area in the Veneto wine region, where the famous wines Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso are made. 

Valpolicella stretches 25km from west to east and 12km from north to south. The city of Verona is found in the south in the middle of a complex system of valleys that flow from north (Monti Lessini) to south. The Adige River limits Valpolicella in its western and southern sides. 

Usually, we divide Valpolicella into three parts: the historical part, called “Valpolicella Classica”, the Valpantena valley in the middle and the eastern part called “Valpolicella Doc” or “Big Valpolicella”, because its extension is bigger. In all of these more than 2 hundred wineries are found; most of them are family-run, in nice buildings more or less old, but some of them are quite interesting because they are hosted in ancient manors…".

(read the post here)

Amarone della Valpolicella, it's tasting time!

Amarone della Valpolicella, it's tasting time!

Amarone della Valpolicella is not your ideal wine when the temperature rises, but is perfect when outside the frost covers the fields. Thus, if you are going to buy a good bottle of Amarone, maybe this is the right moment to do it, because in this second half of January there are two important events in Verona: "Amarone in Villa" and "Anteprima Amarone DOCG". Both are good opportunities to taste many different bottles of Amarone della Valpolicella, made by almost every producer of Valpolicella...

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Recioto della Valpolicella: long life to the King!

Recioto della Valpolicella: long life to the King!

There is a new book dedicated to the Recioto della Valpolicella. Recioto was well before Amarone. As many wine lovers know, Amarone della Valpolicella originally was a Recioto (the traditional sweet wine from dried red grapes), totally fermented. 

Recioto is the father of Amarone della Valpolicella. Its origin. A wine that deserves much more attention and success than actually has, but we cannot complain the consumers about this, because the most of them never tasted a Recioto della Valpolicella - a good one, I mean. It is tricky to make a real good Recioto, and it's quite rare to find one, but we are pretty sure that it's all a matter of market. Nowadays the wine producers in Valpolicella are not so willing to produce Recioto, because it's difficult  to make, people don't ask for it and it's expensive to communicate, to market and to sell...

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