Key Facts about Valpolicella

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Valpolicella has an extension of 25 km. from West to East and 12 km. from North to South. The city of Verona stays in the Southern 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.

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Three main areas:

  • Valpolicella Classica
    Wines are generally distinguished by a greater warmth and austerity of character.
  • Valpantena
    Wines are generally distinguished by a greater freshness and elegance, but also great longevity.
  • Eastern Valpolicella
    Wines are generally distinguished by a dynamic and fruity style, with some herbaceous hints.

Surfaces production of the three areas in Valpolicella in 2012 vintage - hectares [Source: Consorzio della Valpolicella]
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4 different appellations:

  • Valpolicella DOC
  • Valpolicella Ripasso DOCG
  • Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
  • Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG

Some specifications you may find on the labels:

  • "Valpolicella Classico":
    wine coming from the "classical" (= historical area of production) area of Valpolicella (see maps)
  • "Superiore":
    from selected grapes, a wine aged minimum 1 year (considered from Jan. 1st after the harvest). It also can specify on the label the Cru of origin, usually with the "Vigna" word followed by the name of the place.
  • "Valpantena":
    a valley part of the Valpolicella DOC (see maps)

Wines produced in Valpolicella in 2012 vintage - millions of bottles [Source: Consorzio della Valpolicella]
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Production

Total production and vineyards surfaces of Valpolicella grapes - Years 1972-2014
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Grapes production (1972-2014) compared to grapes for Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella.
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Grapes production (1972-2014) for Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella as percent of total production.
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Valpolicella, Total surface in PRODUCTION (1974-2014). (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Valpolicella, Total surface in PRODUCTION (1974-2014).
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)


Territories and valleys (West to East):

  • Valpolicella Classica
    • Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella
    • Fumane
    • San Pietro in Cariano
    • Marano
    • Negrar
  • Valpolicella
    • Quinzano and Avesa
  • Valpantena
  • Eastern Valpolicella (also named simply Valpolicella Doc)
    • Squaranto
    • Marcellise
    • Mezzane
    • San Briccio di Lavagno
    • Illasi
    • Tramigna

Grapes

The traditional blend of Valpolicella wine is made by these three indigenous grapes:

  • Corvina
    it's ruled that could be between 45% to 95% of a vineyard
  • Rondinella
    could be between 5% to 30% of a vineyard
  • Molinara
    it was compulsory to use it till modifications to the rules adopted in 2003. Now it's an optional grape (see below).

In the last 20 years, winegrowers introduced

  • Corvinone
    it could substitute Corvina in a vineyard till the amount of 50%.

Rules of Valpolicella permit to use other grapes, till a contribution of 25%, splitted in this way:

  • red, not aromatic grapes, to a maximum of 15% (max. 10% for each variety)
  • other Italian indigenous grapes, to a maximum of 10%

Among the "others" you may find:

  • Oseleta, Dindarella, Corbina, Spigamonte, Turchetta
  • Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Teroldego.

Here you may see the "Grape Collection" in pictures, with 36 grapes actually grown in Valpolicella.