In Verona wine has a long tradition! Today we will focus on red wine and you will discover one of the finest wines in Italy: Veronese wine!
Wine can never be missing on our tables. “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine” said the French gastronome Savarin. White, red or rosé… Wine embodies history, passion and taste.
Veronese wine is among the best-loved Italian wines and comes in many types of high quality, known all over the world.
The wines of Verona are so numerous that there is at least one for every dish and occasion. For this reason, today I will tell you about the main characteristics of Verona’s red wines.
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In Verona wine has a great value!
The Veronese wine producing areas are many: from Lake Garda to the Val d’Alpone to the east. Countless valleys dominate the place of origin of Veronese red wine, such as Squaranto, Illasi, Tramigna, Val d’Adige and Bardolino. Not to forget the Valpolicella wine region, where famous DOC and DOCG wines are produced.
The province of Verona is one of the most important wine-producing regions in Italy, not only in terms of quantity, representing around 65% of the regional production, but above all in terms of quality, producing most of the region’s DOC and DOCG wines. Suffice it to say that the Verona wine production includes no fewer than 22 DOC, 9 DOCG and 2 IGT wines of all types.
However, the real added value of Verona, compared to other regions, lies in the fact that over the centuries it has been able to safeguard indigenous grape varieties, such as Garganega, Corvina, Rossignola and others. In addition, the area is also home to international grape varieties that find the right climatic conditions in the Veronese soil.
Veronese wine tradition
The Veronese soil has various characteristics, differing according to its geographical position. For example, the Bardolino area has different types of soil, deriving from deposits of glacial origin. In the Valpolicella area, red soils prevail. While in the Val d’Adige, the origin of the soil is purely calcareous and sandy. For this reason, it is one of the few areas in Italy where phylloxera has not developed.
A great role is played by the climate of these areas. It contributes to the optimal growth of the vines and the production of a good Veronese wine. The climate is fairly good all year round, especially in the Valpolicella wine region and in Bardolino, with hot summers and cold, mild winters due to the proximity of the lake. The Val d’Adige area is also affected by this proximity, where a mild and breezy climate reigns.
However, the real “signature” of Veronese red wine lies in the vine training system. The most traditional form of grape vine cultivation is the pergola, trentina or veronese. In addition, since the 1980s the guyot method has been introduced, which is more suitable for mechanical operations that save time and money.
Are you curious about typical Veronese wine? The time has come to talk about 7 great Veronese red wines. You will discover their countless smells and flavours. I will also give you some advice on how to pair Veronese wine and make a good impression on your guests!
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
What is Amarone wine? Amarone DOCG is the most important wine of Valpolicella and among the most prestigious red wines in Italy. An Amarone wine tasting is therefore a must in Verona! The main grapes used are Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. But what makes this wine so special is its drying technique. In the production of this Veronese red wine, Amarone grapes are harvested in a state of over-ripeness, giving the final product a particular intensity.
In fact, Amarone is a dry red raisin wine with a very intense ruby colour. Rich in fruity and spicy notes on the nose, it has a full-bodied flavour, but at the same time velvety and warm. It has a minimum alcohol content of 14° and is perfect with red meat, but also with mature hard cheeses, game and venison.
Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG
Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG is one of the oldest wines in the world, defined as the ancestor of Amarone wine. The grape varieties are the same, with the addition of smaller percentages of Forselina, Negrara and Oseleta.
Here too, it is a passito wine, with the difference that Recioto has a hint of sweetness. It is produced in the same way as Amarone. In fact, the latter is said to have originated as an error in the production of Recioto. What differentiates these Valpolicella wines is the fermentation time. Shorter in the Recioto, it results in a wine that is sweeter on the palate.
Dark ruby red in colour, its olfactory notes are well accentuated, recalling withered fruit and balsamic. Although it is the only sweet wine produced in Valpolicella, Recioto is never cloying, thanks to its good acidity. Its flavour is warm and sustained, but at the same time delicate. It pairs well with desserts, chocolate and intensely flavoured cheeses, such as goat’s cheese and pecorino.
Valpolicella wine DOC is one of the best known wines in Italy and abroad. It is obtained from three grape varieties: Rondinella, Corvina and Molinara. These Valpolicella grapes give life to a full-bodied wine with an alcohol content of 11°.
With an intense ruby red colour, Valpolicella has a pleasant and delicate perfume, reminiscent of bitter almonds. In addition, its velvety, savoury and harmonious flavour makes it suitable to pair with white meats, risottos and pasta dishes with simple sauces.
In addition to Valpolicella red wine DOC, we can find Valpolicella Superiore DOC and Valpolicella Ripasso DOC.
Valpolicella Superiore DOC differs in that it has a higher alcohol content, i.e. 12°, as this Veronese wine has to wait at least a year before being marketed. It has a ruby red colour of medium intensity, with olfactory notes similar to the Valpolicella DOC, that is pleasant and sometimes reminiscent of bitter almonds. Its dry and harmonious flavour pairs well with noble poultry such as guinea fowl, roast veal or pork, risottos with meat and legumes.
On the other hand, Valpolicella Ripasso DOC differs in the wine-making technique adopted. In fact, this fine Veronese wine undergoes a second brief fermentation together with the skins of the grapes used for Amarone (Ripasso method). For this reason, Ripasso wines have some taste-olfactory characteristics of the latter. Intense ruby red, Valpolicella Ripasso has fruity notes, mainly of red berries, and hints of tobacco and vanilla. It is a full-bodied Veronese wine with a harmonious flavour, which pairs perfectly with game dishes, grilled meats, cured meats and mature cheeses.
We now move on to Bardolino DOC, whose name derives from the wine region of the same name. The grape varieties used are the same as in Valpolicella. However, international grape varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot can also be added.
Bardolino is a light ruby-coloured wine, with delicate olfactory notes of violets and red fruits. Soft and dry on the palate with a bitterish aftertaste, it is a light-bodied wine with an excellent balance between acidity and flavour. This allows this famous Veronese wine to be paired with white meats, fried fish, pasta and soups.
Valdadige Rosso DOC
There are lesser-known wines in Verona, but very interesting for wine enthusiasts. These include the Valdadige Rosso, a DOC wine whose production is permitted in the provinces of Bolzano, Trento and Verona. Its main grape varieties are Schiava and Enantio, to which international varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir can be added.
Valdadige has a fairly intense ruby red colour, with pleasant, slightly spicy aromas. It has a good structure and a harmonious and moderately acidic flavour.
It is a versatile Veronese wine for pairing and can be served with pork dishes, cheeses and roasts in sweet sauces.
Taste Veronese red wine with the winemaker!
As you have seen, in Verona wine means many hidden gems and a territory to be discovered also through a glass! The red wine from Verona encompasses an immense world of fine aromas and well balanced flavours.
Are you curious to try in Verona wine and more? Italia Delight offers you many wine tasting experiences, included Amarone wine tours in Valpolicella’s wineries. In addition, we have thought of a travel idea for you between Verona and Lake Garda, which you can customise with the local Expert. All you have to do is arm yourself with a glass! 🍷