Key Facts about Valpolicella
Valpolicella has an extension of 25 km. from West to East and 12 km. from North to South. The city of Verona stays in the Southern middle of a complex system of valleys that flow from North (Monti Lessini) to South. The Adige river limits Valpolicella in its western and southern sides.
Three main areas:
Wines are generally distinguished by a greater warmth and austerity of character.
Wines are generally distinguished by a greater freshness and elegance, but also great longevity.
Wines are generally distinguished by a dynamic and fruity style, with some herbaceous hints.
4 different appellations:
Valpolicella Ripasso DOCG
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG
Some specifications you may find on the labels:
wine coming from the "classical" (= historical area of production) area of Valpolicella (see maps)
from selected grapes, a wine aged minimum 1 year (considered from Jan. 1st after the harvest). It also can specify on the label the Cru of origin, usually with the "Vigna" word followed by the name of the place.
a valley part of the Valpolicella DOC (see maps)
Territories and valleys (West to East):
Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella
San Pietro in Cariano
Quinzano and Avesa
Eastern Valpolicella (also named simply Valpolicella Doc)
San Briccio di Lavagno
The traditional blend of Valpolicella wine is made by these three indigenous grapes:
it's ruled that could be between 45% to 95% of a vineyard
could be between 5% to 30% of a vineyard
it was compulsory to use it till modifications to the rules adopted in 2003. Now it's an optional grape (see below).
In the last 20 years, winegrowers introduced
it could substitute Corvina in a vineyard till the amount of 50%.
Rules of Valpolicella permit to use other grapes, till a contribution of 25%, splitted in this way:
red, not aromatic grapes, to a maximum of 15% (max. 10% for each variety)
other Italian indigenous grapes, to a maximum of 10%
Among the "others" you may find:
Oseleta, Dindarella, Corbina, Spigamonte, Turchetta
Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Teroldego.
Here you may see the "Grape Collection" in pictures, with 36 grapes actually grown in Valpolicella.