Serego Alighieri Estate
Villa-Wineries in Valpolicella
Serego Alighieri is the oldest winery in Valpolicella still in use. It has been producing wine since at least 1353, when it was purchased by Dante's son, ancestor of the current owner.
The villa is still inhabited and not open to the public. However it is possible to visit the historical vineyard, the annexed buildings, the cellar and to have a wine tasting in the store.
It is located on the slopes between the valley of Fumane and Sant'Ambrogio, in the heart of the historical Valpolicella. The property covers about 100 hectares (247 acres) of vineyards, olive groves and a park.
In the center there is the villa. All around there are rustic buildings with ancient drying lofts for for the drying of Amarone grapes, the aging cellar and a lemon green house.
Part of the vineyard was the brolo (vineyard surrounded by a wall).
In a wing of the complex there are some finely restored apartments where it is possible to stay overnight, a large meeting room, a kitchen equipped to manage the catering of receptions and events or for private cooking classes.
Your first refuge and your first inn shall be / the courtesy of the great Lombard, he / who on the ladder bears the sacred bird.
After being exiled from Florence, Dante found refuge in Verona at the court of the della Scala family, lords of Verona, at first Bartolomeo and later Cangrande.
In Verona he remained at least 7 years, and there he wrote a large part of the Commedia.
Later he moved to Ravenna, where he died and was buried.
. Dante's family, however, remained in Verona and his son Pietro Alighieri bought the estate in Valpolicella in 1353..
In the mid-1500s, only one woman remained to bear the surname of Dante: Ginevra Alighieri. In 1549 she married Count Marcantonio Serego, and in order to preserve the name of the great poet of whom Ginevra was a direct descendant, Alighieri was added to Serego, giving rise to the Serego Alighieri family.
At the entrance of the cellar, a family tree and portraits of Ginevra and Marcantonio illustrate the ancient origins of the current owners of the estate.
If you want to know more
Dante in Verona
Tours and itineraries along the footsteps of Dante in Verona and the Divine Comedy.Go
Certainly for centuries wine was just one of the many products in what had to be, to all intents and purposes, a farm. With olive groves, orchards, a fishpond, stables for animals, etc.
In an era without any mechanization, the laborers who lived on the property must have been numerous, and constituted a self-sufficient community. The complex was, and still is, equipped with a chapel. It is not by chance that the word "village" contains the root "villa".
The manor house was built in 1500. Only a part of the original project was completed.
Cellar and Wines
Today the estate is almost entirely dedicated to the production of wine and to the activities related to wine tourism and to the valorization of the territory. There is also a small production of oil and cherries.
The main wines are the traditional Valpolicella, Amarone and Recioto. In honor of Dante and his long stay in Verona, an IGT is produced with a blend of Sangiovese, a typical Tuscan grape, and Corvina, the most traditional of the Veronese grapes.
There is also a small production of Garganega blended with Sauvignon for a white IGT.
The Amarone blend is the most traditional one which also includes Molinara. In the inner courtyard there are a few centuries-old vines of this variety which survived phylloxera.
The grapes selected for Amarone are placed on the traditional racks in the historic drying rooms ("fruttai") in the attics of the villa's rustic buildings, where they remain until the end of January.
Cherry Wood BarrelsAging takes place in Veronese casks, a traditional 600-liter barrel type. Besides the classic French oak, a part of the aging takes place in cherry wood barrels.
In modern enology, almost the totality of wine aging worldwide is done in oak, be it French, Slavonian or American. In the past, however, casks were made of the most varied types of wood, often the most easily available in the area where the wine was produced, such as chestnut, beech, acacia and even cherry. In the past Valpolicella was famous for cherries as much as it was famous for wine. Therefore there was a great availability of cherry wood, which was used to make casks where Recioto and Amarone were aged.
Cherry wood is a slightly aromatic essence which exalts even more the characteristic aromas of black cherry and morello cherry typical of Corvina, the grape variety which is the base structure of all Valpolicella wines, with percentages which can reach 95%.
The Wine Shop
The wine shop is always open for informal visits and tastings. Thanks to an agreement with Masi Group, you will also find wines from this winery for tasting, making the choice really wide. More comprehensive wine tours should be booked well in advance. With the complete tour it is possible to walk in the vineyards learning all the secrets of viticulture, see the grapes drying lofts where from the end of September to the end of January will be stacked the racks with the drying grapes, and the cherry wood scented cellar. The tour is completed by a tasting of the wines produced.
Thanks to a careful restoration in the complex there are also 8 apartments and rooms elegantly and tastefully decorated with traditional furniture. They are ideal for those who want to spend some days according to the rhythms of the countryside surrounded by the vineyards of Valpolicella. Special rooms can be used for meetings, presentations or cooking classes.The visit of this historical winery of Valpolicella is suitable both for individual visitors and for organized groups.
The Serego Alighieri estate is about 30' drive from the center of Verona.
If you want to contact the winery: +39 045 770 3622.