Corvina is an Italian red wine grape variety that is also referred to as Corvina Veronese and sometimes Cruina. It is primarily grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. In the Veneto region, Corvina is often confused with Corvinone, a red grape usually used in the production of straw wines. For a long time, Corvinone was considered a clone of Corvina but DNA profiling has shown that they are two different varieties.
Corvina, a dark-berried, thick-skinned variety, is the principal grape in red Valpolicella wines, forming the backbone of the blend with its firm tannins and rich, smoky, red-cherry scents and flavours. The grapes naturally high acidity can make the wine somewhat tart with a slight, bitter almond note. The finish is sometimes marked with sour cherry notes.
In some regions of Valpolicella, producers are using barrel aging to add more structure and complexity to the wine. The small berries of Corvina are low in tannins and colour extract but have thick skins that are ideal for drying and protecting the grape from rot.
Corvina is used with several other grapes to create the very popular regional wines: Bardolino, Valpolicella, Amarone and Recioto. In Valpolicella, Corvina generally made up to 70% of the wine. It is also used to be made high as 85% in some parts of Southern Italy. Corvina based wines appeal to fruit loving wine drinkers at all levels. The quality of Valpolicella Classico Superiore has greatly improved over the past 10-15 years and Amarone continues to impress enthusiasts the world over.
Corvina is made in several styles: an approachable dry to off-dry fruity style like Valpolicella Classico, in a 'Ripasso' style which incorporates Valpolicella with a dose of the rich 'Amarone' juice - giving it a full palate. Amarone wines range in style from premium, full-throttled fruit driven wines with scents of smoked meats and spice notes crafting wines of top quality, often described as hedonistic wines.