situated in Southern France
produces numerous wines under various Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) designations
three regions – North, South and Côtes du Rhône
mistral wind effects with a blow and help to grow grapes healthy.
About This Wine Region:
THE NORTHERN RHONE
THE SOUTHERN RHONE
Check out wines from these ‘satellites’ too:
- region of Verona, Italy
- tradional of growing from the Iron Age
- volcano soil from the hills
- ancient farming rhythm brings a fresh, spontaneous and enjoyable wines
- four wine styles: Amarone, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso and Recioto.
About This Wine Region:
Colours capture the eye. The warm burnished pink of the local stone characterises the environment just as much as the bright green of the vines. We are heading northwest of Verona to Valpolicella, an area that extends over 240km2, bordered by the Lessini Mountains in the north and the River Adige in the south, by the Val d’Adige in the west and the romantic city of Verona in the east. Lake Garda is just 15km further west.
The etymology of Valpolicella remains uncertain but the favoured interpretation, based on val-policellae from the Latin for cellar (cellae), is ‘valley of many wineries’, and vine-growing among these hills has always been a way of life. Fossil remains dating back to the Iron Age prove that the European vine, Vitis vinifera sativa, was cultivated here. And Greek and Roman literature makes numerous mentions of winemaking activities in Valpolicella, testifying to the importance that wine production in this region had in those times.
Over the centuries, vine-growing expanded and became more specialised, mainly due to the area’s particular geographical relief, featuring valleys running south to north. The identity and complexity of Valpolicella wines originates in these valleys, where warm breezes from Lake Garda meet the cool air from the Lessini Mountains, creating the ideal microclimate for growing vines as well as cherries and olives.
From volcanoes to clay
This varied geological conformation produces a diverse range of soils, thus giving the wines widely different characteristics. The historical zone, defined as classic, includes the three valleys of Fumane (stratified calcareous rock), Marano (basaltic volcanic rocks, known as Toari) and Negrar (muddy clay) from west to east, and theareas around St’Ambrogio di Valpolicella (calcareous soils) and San Pietro in Cariano (of alluvial origin). Production regulations also include the Valpantena region with the Squaranto and Mezzane valleys, and East Valpolicella with Val d’Illasi and Val Tramigna (carbonate soils).The area produces four wine styles: Amarone, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso and Recioto. Although made with the same grapes (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and other lesser varieties), their winemaking techniques are different. Valpolicella, a historical illustration of ancient farming rhythms, is a fresh, spontaneous and enjoyable wine; the soft Ripasso (‘re-passed’ over Amarone pomace) is soft; and the two passiti brothers, Amarone and sweet Recioto, are made from dried grapes. Amarone has stolen the international limelight with its splendid concentration, structure, elegance and unique complexities. Power unites with a delightful softness, giving a durable opulence.