Valpolicella: the big deal and the new wave

Valpolicella: the big deal and the new wave
"Although many people all around the world love Amarone, often they really have no idea where it comes from. And - sadly - Valpolicella’s producers don’t seem to do much to inform them. It needs an effective strategy of “geographic” communication of this part of Verona province before speaking about grapes or technique"...
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Flash: Roccolo Grassi adds his "no" to Amarone in 2014

Marco Sartori, owner at Roccolo Grassi

Marco Sartori, owner at Roccolo Grassi

The unfortunate 2014 vintage collects another winegrower of Amarone and Valpolicella wines, Roccolo Grassi, that announces giving up to produce Amarone della Valpolicella 2014. Marco Sartori, the owner, revealed he anticipated the news privately to a friend early at the end of August, and yesterday, Saturday 13th, he made it publicly on Facebook (link in Italian). Roccolo Grassi adds himself to the growing list of Amarone producers that did the same choice like Romano Dal FornoBertani and others smaller producers like Terre di Pietra and Tenute Ugolini.

On the same topic, please see our pre-harvest report and this post about the difficult decisions facing Valpolicella producers.

Flash: Romano Dal Forno sad decision, no Amarone in 2014

Romano Dal Forno

Romano Dal Forno

Romano Dal Forno, the iconic winegrower of Amarone and Valpolicella wines, sadly joins Bertani and others smaller producers like Terre di Pietra and Tenute Ugolini. In an announcement released here (in Italian) he gives up to produce Amarone della Valpolicella 2014:

"This unfortunate vintage poses a lot of big question marks. We must think to the final consumer: the real wine lover cannot expect a high quality Amarone, and resellers and restaurant owners might see in this vintage more problems than opportunities in which to invest. On our side, we'll try to do our best with the Valpolicella wine".

On the same topic, please see our pre-harvest report and this post about the difficult decisions facing Valpolicella producers.

Harvest 2014, Valpolicella producers lower grape quantity for Amarone

Harvest 2014, Valpolicella producers lower grape quantity for Amarone

In a dramatic development following some recent anticipations about a very difficult harvest in Valpolicella (see our report), we learnt that Consorzio Tutela Valpolicella (the organization representing local wine bottlers, cooperatives, wine producers and winegrowers), decided to lower from 50% to 35% the amount of grapes to be reserved for the drying process for the production of Amarone  2014.

Due to a month and a half of heavy rain, hail storms and excessive soil humidity, the health of grapes seems to be undermined almost everywhere in Valpolicella, with the exception of some hills exposed to local fresh winds (for more details, please read our report here)...

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PR: IWSC awards Cantina Valpolicella Negrar as best Italian producer 2013

We receive this press release from Cantina Valpolicella Negrar, and the news is:

"The United Kingdom’s independent International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), one of the world’s most prestigious drinks events, has awarded the coveted Best Italian Wine Producer of the Year trophy to the Negrar (Verona) cooperative winery".

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Valpolicella will host next Masters of Wine students selection

Italy desperately needs Masters of Wine. After ignoring for decades the importance of this respected institution (for Italian brands' awareness and trade), the Italian wine industry took recently the initiative to search for candidates able to compete to enter in the restricted group of international Masters of Wine: actually they are 312 from 24 countries, only Pierpaolo Petrassi represents Italians in this group (he lives and works in UK).

This 2014 will be a key year when, from 15 to 18 May 2014, delegates from all over the world will be gathering in Florence for the Institute of Masters of Wine's 8th Symposium.

And, coming to our more close interest, under the initiative of Istituto del Vino Italiano di Qualità Grandi Marchi, which brings together 19 Italian wineries (see the list below), and with the partnership of the Institute of Masters of Wine itself, Valpolicella will be the next place to welcome their joined activities: the Foresteria Serego Alighieri (in Gargagnago, near Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella) to host the working sessions from March 7th to 9th that act as the introduction to the strict programme of studies for the title of Master of Wine.

If you have the right qualifications and you are interested to try, or simply you want more details, please read the official press release hereafter.

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January 2014: two events a winelover cannot miss

acini in appassimento.jpg

A new year is in front of us, so let's start with two interesting tastings of Amarone della Valpolicella!

The first one is scheduled on 23th January, 2014. In the nice hotel and restaurant Villa de Winkels,  a tasting of Amarone della Valpolicella is hosted (5.00 p.m. - 10 p.m.). Many wine producers are attending this appointment to introducing their best Amarone della Valpolicella from different vintages, to pair with the typical foods of the buffet. For the wine pros, on 3.30 p.m. there is a conference, by Esprit de Dryades: "How a forest has to be managed to produce oak for barrels".

Ticket:  40 Euro/person. For any infos, call +390456500133. 

The second event is on 25th and 26th January, 2014. In Verona downtown, in the historical Palazzo della Gran Guardia (very close to Arena), "Anteprima Amarone 2010" ("Amarone Preview 2010") is  hosted. The winelovers will have this year an import an role, as they will be envolved to express their preferences through a competition. In the entrance they will receive a potscard where they have to write their "3 best wines" tasted.

Among all the postcards, three winners will be drawn, and will benefit from a free personalized tasting of wines in one of their favorite wineries. 

Hours: Saturday: 4.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Entrance : on invitation and with a ticket (25 Euro).