Valpolicella is one of Italian most representative red wine, named after the area between Verona and lake Garda in which it is produced. According to some archaeological theories the name Valpolicella might come from the latin words "vallis polis cellae", that means valley of many cellars, demonstrating the ancient wine making tradition of the area.
The modern Valpolicella wine
is made with a blend of local grape varietals: mainly Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. Corvina, in Italian means "crow-like", the name comes from the intense black color of the bunch. It is the most important grape varietal in Valpolicella wines and it consititutes between 60 and 80% of the blend. Rondinella means "little swallow" and the name comes from the split leaves of the vine which somehow resemble the tail of a swallow. Is the second most important Valpolicella grape, between 20 and 30% of the total. Molinara in Veronese dialect means "baker". The name come from the white, powder like surface of the grapes which looks like if it has been sprinkled with flour. A very traditional Valpolicela grape, because of its light color, many producers are not using molinara any more.
Regular Valpolicella DOC wine is made with fresh grapes squeezed soon after harvest. It should have a minimum of 11% alcohol even if nowadays most Valpolicella wine are around 12-13%. It is a wine very easy to pair with food: pizza, pasta with light sauce, salami and apetizers, medium aged cheese, etc. It is probably the most common table wine in most osterias and restaurants in Verona.
Among Valpolicella wines you can also find the Superiore (Superior) version. Valpolicella Superiore requires at least one year of aging in wooden barrels, and must has a minimu of 12% of alcohol content even if nowadays, most Valpolicella Superiores are around 13-14%.
Valpolicella Superiore is often a Ripasso or Double Fermentation wine, made with a special tachinque in which standard Valpolicella wine takes some of the flavours of the Amarone.
We could say that all Ripasso or Double Fermentation wines are Valpolicella Superiore but not all the Valpolicella Superiores are made with ripasso technique.
Valpolicella Superiore is a very versatile medium body wine, perfect to be paired with meat, steak, veal, aged cheese, tasty pasta dishes, etc.
Valpolicella Classica VS Extended Valpolicella
In recent years, the popularity of Valpolicella, resulted in an increase of the demand, especially in foreign markets. This led to the expansion of the area in which the produced wine can be named "Valpolicella". Now the enlarged Valpolicella area covers almost all the hills north of Verona. Nevertheless, only the wine produced in the traditional Valpolicella area, the hills northwest of Verona, between the town and Lake Garda, can use the name 'Valpolicella Classico'.
Valpolicella Wine Tours
Do you want to know more about Valpolicella wines and their wine producing regions. Book one of our wine tours in Valpolicella and you will discover all the secrets of this wonderful wine. For more information on wines and wine tours in Valpolicella: