I decided to attend anyway. Verona is a fascinating city, the food is very good and then there is the wine. I would be able to taste the wines of Valpolicella, visit the wineries and speak to the producers again at the dinners. When one has the opportunity to visit Italy, one goes.
The Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella, founded in 1924, sponsored the event. The members include viticulturists, winemakers and bottlers from the Valpolicella wine production zone, a territory that includes 19 municipalities in the Verona area. Over 80% of the producers are members.
I received a listing of over 80 wineries that I could choose from to visit. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I visited 10 Wineries: Bolla, Bertani, Villa Canestrani, Villa Crine, Vigneti di Ettore, Roccolo Grassi, Massimago, Fidora, Cantina di Soave and Marco Mosconi.
The Valpolicella appellation is located north of Verona. It borders Lake Garda to the west and is protected by the Lessini Mountains to the east and north. It covers the Verona foothills area, which is part of the eastern Alps. The vines are traditionally pergola-trained according to the typical “pergola Veronese system.”
The main grapes are Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella and to a lesser extent Molinara. All of them are strictly indigenous and found only within the Verona province.
At the wineries I tasted Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Superiore, Amarone della Valpoilcella and Recioto della Valpolicella.
On Saturday morning there was a blind tasting of the 2013 Amarone with sommelier service. There were about 80 wines, both barrel samples and those already bottled. After the tasting, representatives of the participating wineries gathered in another room with their wines and I was able to taste any of the Amarone wines that I missed.
It was a very interesting and informative event and I am glad that I went. For me the highlight was tasting a broad range of Amarone, one of Italy’s great wines.
Next time I will report on the wineries I visited.