Valpolicella valleyOne hour drive from Venice,
Verona and the Valpolicellais a perfect place to spend a day…
The hills are a patchwork of lush Veronese pergola vineyards, criss-crossed by lines of marogne, the dry-stone walls typical of the region...
Dotted here and there are cypress trees, ancient churches, age-old fountains and magnificent Venetian villas.
The etymology of Valpolicella remains uncertain.
But the favoured interpretation and based on val-poli-cellae from the Latin for cellar (cellae), so, the valley where there were and there are many cellars.
This is because is the ‘valley of many wineries’ and vine-growing among these hills has always been a way of life.
And Greek and Roman literature makes numerous mentions of winemaking activities in Valpolicella testifying to the importance that wine production in this region had in those times.
The wine-growing expanded and became more specialised, mainly due to the area’s particular geographical
relief, featuring valleys running south to north.
The area produces four wine styles: Amarone, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso and Recioto.
And, although made with the same grapes (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and other lesser varieties),
their winemaking techniques are different.
The soft Ripasso (‘re-passed’ over Amarone pomace) is soft.
The two passiti brothers, Amarone and sweet Recioto, are made from dried grapes and very appreciated.
Amarone has the international limelight with its splendid concentration, structure, elegance and unique complexities.
Not far from here there are the offices of the Strada del Vino wine route, where you might be directed to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Arbizzano –
arguably, the most beautifully sited villa in Valpolicella.
Here is where Gaetano Bertani has the headquarters of his Santa Maria alla Pieve estate, complete with tours and wine shop (mosconibertani.it).
The historical Bertani company – founded in 1857 and an indisputable icon of Valpolicella – islocated in Grezzana (bertani.net).
Its wines continue to act as absolute reference points by uniting tradition and innovation.