VALPOLICELLA: characteristics and wines of this extraordinary area
- Valpolicella: a suggestive etymology
- Characteristics and peculiarities of an area that is one-of-a-kind
- Casa vinicola Bennati: producers of great wines in the Valpolicella region
Do you know about the true meaning of the name “Valpolicella”? What about the world-unique characteristics that make out this area’s vocation to viticulture and to yielding prestigious and high-quality red wines?
Valpolicella is a world-class wine region in the foothills of the Prealps in Verona, where valleys and hills fuse together to create a fascinating landscape. It is home to some of the most renowned red wines of Italy’s winemaking tradition: Valpolicella Superiore Doc, Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG. Unmistakable wines worth some deeper knowledge for us to be able to appreciate them as they deserve.
Valpolicella: a suggestive etymology
First thing first: the etymology of the name “Valpolicella” is not clear nor certain as there are many different theories about it. However, they all point towards the same underlying concept: the absolute greatness of this rich region.
The most shared opinion accounts for a latin derivation from “Vallis Polis Cellae”, which translates into “valley of many cellars”. It is a curious denomination that would confirm an ancient knowledge about the great vocation to winemaking of this area. Though we don’t know whether it is true or not, we like to think of it as the real meaning of the region’s name, as this would still apply to this day and be able to encode its exceptional value.
Other theories claim that the word is of ancient Greek origin, with the original meaning of “land of many fruits” or “land of many splendours”. This would also tell a story of a generous land, with a strong, fertile and precious soil which gives us outstanding-quality wines.
Characteristics and peculiarities of the area
As already mentioned it’s a mainly hilly area which stretches on a 240 km2 surface and covers 19 municipalities, 5 in the so-called “classic” area and 14 in the DOC one.
The wine-making area has historically been divided into:
- “Valpolicella classica”, the most ancient part, where vines where cultivated as far back as the V century BC. It stretches from the foothill area to the valleys that cut across the spurs of the Lessinia plateau from north to south.
- “Valpolicella estesa”, of more recent denomination, created starting from the first area as a result of the steadily increasing demand of these wines, both nationally and internationally. Valleys bearing some similar characteristic to the first area joined the “Valpolicella” denomination: Valpantena, Val Squaranto, Valle di Mezzane, Val d’Illasi and val Tramigna. They partially coincide with the Soave area.
Overall, the climate is here warm and mild with moderate temperature ranges, thanks to the influence of the Garda lake which keeps them in control. Hilly areas are characterized by very special microclimates, where rainfalls are more frequent, temperatures are higher and temperature differences between night and day are bigger.
The soil is, on the other hand, very diverse and gets very different within adjacent areas thus giving rise to different peculiarities in the wines:
- the mountainous area of the Lessini mountains, characterized by sedimentary rocks and limestone soil
- The hillside, hosting a large part of the vineyards, with fine gravelly deposits coming from rocks of sedimentary origin
- The area at the bottom of the valley, of alluvial origin and with a very variable soil, ranging from clayey and silty ones to other more loamy and skeletal areas.
Casa Vinicola Bennati: great producers of Valpolicella wines
Casa Vinicola Bennati is an historic company producing all of the most renowned wines of the area of Verona, among which some great Valpolicella DOC and DOCG.
A selection of wines that is the crowning glory of a long winemaking tradition:
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – Cerasum Riserva di Famiglia
An outstanding wine with great character. On the nose an intense aroma of ripe fruit, jam and delicate floral notes, all of which then turn into tobacco, cacao and cinnamon. It is very elegant on the palate, thanks to the harmonious balance between its power and its smoothness. The finish is complex, with clear notes of brandied fruit – cherries, blackberries, raspberries – and intense balsamic notes.
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
A deep ruby red wine with purple hints. An intense bouquet of stewed fruit and jam. The elegance on the palate is the result of the perfect harmony between its power and its softness. Complex finish with clear notes of cherry, blackberry and raspberry jam and intense spicy hints.
Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG
Intense ruby color with purple hues. It gives a strong bouquet of ripe red fruit such as plums and cherries. On the palate it is sweet, velvety and balanced.
Valpolicella Superiore DOC – 100’ Anniversario
The characteristic and delicate violet aroma of the Corvina variety is followed by intense red brandied fruit notes, which give this wine an austere and extremely elegant character. On the palate it is dry, warm and well-structured.
Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore DOC La Mora
Its colour is an intense red that tends to garnet and it exudes intense ripe fruit and cherry aroma on a background of vanilla, tobacco and cacao. It is pleasantly smooth on the palate with a long finish.
Rosso Veronese IGT – Ireos
This wine has an intensely red colour and gives generous notes of ripe wildberry notes and delicate spicy hints of tobacco, coffee and juniper. Its soft tannins make it velvety, complex and very elegant.
Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore DOC
Deep ruby red wine with notes of ripe fruit – cherries stand out – on a background of vanilla, tobacco and cacao. It is soft on the palate and has a long finish.
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