Rondinella is a red wine grape varietal predominantly grown in the Veneto region of Italy - and is an integral grape used in wines such as Bardolino and Valpolicella. It is often blended with the varietals Molinara and Corvina, which in 2005 DNA testing showed that Corvina was a parent varietal to the so called Venetian grape Rondinella.
Rondinella grows easily all over the Valpolicella region, though the grape has rather neutral flavours but is favoured by growers due to its abundant yields than for any notable quality. The vine is very resistant to grape disease and produces grapes that, while they do not essentially have high sugar levels - they do dry out well for use in the production of ‘straw wines’ - the ‘Appassimento Method’.

 

Simply - this is a method of drying grapes for specific kinds of wine production like; 'Amarone' - which is a strong red wine made from dried grapes - and ‘Recioto’ blends, which is a dessert wine produced in Valpolicella.
The Rondinella word means ‘small swallow’, the name of this grape varietal probably comes from the shape of its leaves that look similar to a swallow’s tail. These blended Venetian red wines can be light, fragrant and reminiscent of cherries, strawberries and flowers with a slight bitter-almond finish. The Rondinella grape represents approximately 20-30% of the combination of grapes for Valpolicella and Amarone wines.
Rondinella is very rustic, generous and adapted for soils having a high content of clay and which are not well exposed. The grape berries are dark coloured, relatively small and round in shape, the bunches are of medium in size, loosely packed and have a cylindrical shape. It is perfectly adapted for drying and shrivelling ideal for the drying process which makes Amarone wine, especially from vines that have been grown in the hills in poor soil.
The wines crafted from this varietal have an intense ruby red colour and gentle aroma. Fruit driven, not too high in tannins, and having a good palate structure. Some of the best cuisine that pairs well with Rondinella wines includes roast lamb with peppers and braised herb crusted lamb with a light wine sauce, plus a well flavoured pasta dish and pizza.