Us and them. Some go to Verona, Italy, in the search of their Romeo or Juliet, or to nurture their shakespearean story. Many go to Venice, about 100 km away, to wander amid the beautiful maze of street canals and Byzantine palaces. But where should do wine lovers go? At the very meeting point, half-way between the two V’s: it also starts with a V… Valpolicella.
Be open for a new adventure. This region is going to bring you a different kind of romance, by shaking your beliefs and disrupting what you though you knew about wine. It is no countryside like other, no vineyards as you may have seen. While this hilly landscape characteristic of Northern Italy is closed to the famous Lake Garda, there is no river just nearby forming a valley like Germany’s Mosel or Portugal’s Douro. As we were driving in this dramatic decor, we could observe unique vineyards… sometimes as tall at Yao Ming (姚明) or James Lebron. At harvest time, growers don’t kneel down to pick up the grapes as their counterparts do in other wine countries, rather they stand firmly and raise their arms to the hanging fruits.
As you may think that the journey to transform grapes into wine may be deja-vu, be ready for some surprise in the name of “Recioto” and “Ripasso” processes. In many instances, after autumn, grapes are purposely left in lofts above wineries to dry out. In this lapse of several months, water evaporates, the size of each grape shrinks and its skin wrinkles. The aromas of these raisin bunches are therefore one of the most highly concentrated for a wine. And as good as old friend, they are ready to deliver their best when you are most in need: after this little hike or bike ride, exactly right at meal time. It is also a perfect wine for the chillier weather of Valentine’s Day…
Destiny, we believe, has brought Venice, Valpolicella and Verona together. An awesome, threesome destination. Going from Verona to Venice, we entered the cellars of Cantina di Negrar / Domini Veneti, a famed Valpolicella maker, and dived into the whole history of this region: stories of passion, all the know-how, intense commitments from the families, alliances betw
een producers against adversities, and tangled relationships that bear incredible fruits. A magic triangle discovery including the hidden pleasures and beauties of the wine-producing nests.
Valpolicella DOCG region has given birth to three major types of wines: Classico, Recioto and Amarone. The wines of Valpolicella will generously give you a big bouquet of flowery aromas, oaky & raisiny notes, and a full body; they are also highly delicate and will release chocolate flavours in your mouth. And we fall in love again each time we drink Valpolicella wines such as Zenato (Amarone Riserva 2006), Allegrini Classico or other ones… Amarone which literally means ‘the great & bitter one’, also sounds to the non-Italian ear like ‘Amore’, that is Love. And yes, it was: Love at First Sip.