Valpolicella is a blend of history, culture and tradition, all enriched by mouthwatering wines and cuisine. The traditional dishes of the area accompanied by the finest of its fruity, full-bodied wines: Valpolicella Classico, Superiore, Recioto, (Recioto della Valpolicella) and Amarone.
Valpolicella is a red wine produced in the foothills of the Alps, just north-west of Verona, in an area sandwiched between the mountains and Lake Garda.
Regular Valpolicella has 11% alcohol and no more than 40-70% Corvina Veronese, 20-40% Rondinella and 5-20% Molinara, all indigenous grape varietals. The winemaker can also add up to 15% complementary varietals which include; Rossignola, Negrara, Trentina, Barbera, Oseleta and Sangiovese.
As a general characteristic the wines tend to have lively to powerful bouquet, full on the palate with good fruit, and a velvety aftertaste. They also tend to be less tannic than wines from Tuscany or Piedmont.
The traditional center of Valpolicella uses the name 'Valpolicella Classico' - about half of all Valpolicella falls into this category. Valpolicella should be enjoyed relatively cool about 13-15ºC. It is normally drunk quite young, within 3 years. It goes well with light dishes - pasta, pizza, pork, lamb and eggplant in red sauce.
Valpolicella 'Superiore' is created with at least one year of aging in oak barrel, and must be at least 12% alcohol (or higher).
Recioto - straw wine, or raisin wine, is a wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice. The classic method dries bunches of grapes on straw-mats in the sun, or under cover, some hang the grapes. The technique dates back to pre-Roman times. Straw wines are typically sweet to very sweet white wines, similar to Sauternes and capable of long life. The low yields and labour-intensive production means that they are quite expensive. Around Verona red grapes are dried, and are fermented in two different ways to make a sweet red wine (Recioto della Valpolicella) and a dry, rich, full-flavoured and full-bodied red wine called 'Amarone'.