Explaining the types of wines produced in the Valpolicella through the history and culture of the area. This is the first leg of the journey that the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella will take visitors through during the taste laboratories to be held over the three days of the Merano WineFestival (9th - 11th November). Tastings with thirty-six wines from as many wineries will allow wine lovers to broaden their knowledge of the Valpolicella area, the wines in the appellation and the local products.
Saturday 9th November. History and tradition will lead the way on the opening day of the fair. Tracing the Valpolicella and its wines from prehistory to modern times, the seminars will focus on the characteristics, types and particularities of the wines. The etymology of the word “Valpolicella” already shows us the characteristics of these splendid valleys. The wines, some of the most characteristic products of the area, allow us to trace the history of the Valpolicella. Records show that vines have existed in the Valpolicella since ancient times. Over the centuries, many writers and poets have celebrated the quality of the wines coming from the vineyards and in doing so have contributed to a tradition of wine production in an area rich with stunning beauty where the colour palate is composed of the striking green of the vineyards alternating with the silvery shimmer of the olive groves, dark foliage of the cypress and oak trees which are then dotted by the white cherry blossom in spring.
Guided wine tastings (10.30am – 1pm – 3.30pm) include Valpolicella Superiore, Valpolicella Ripasso and Amarone paired with soppressa della Macelleria Caprini, various ages of matured Grana Padano cheese provided by the Consorzio di tutela del formaggio Grana Padano, bread with natural yeast by Associazione Pan of Verona and Veneto Valpolicella DOP extra-virgin olive oil by Frantoio Bonamini.
Sunday 10th November. The artistic and natural features of the different valleys are explored through the wines. The complexity and particular features of the Valpolicella wines are created from the mix between the soils, microclimates and grape varieties that only express their full potential in this area. Alongside the geological and physical conditions, each valley contains symbolic, cultural and artistic features that make them unique. The traditional dry-stone walls, villas, churches, caves and layout of the vineyards create a landscape that is expressed through the various zones of production of the Valpolicella appellation. The wines of the Valpolicella are also an expression of the people who live there, who immerse themselves in the area to then create environmental and cultural bonds where the geo-morpheological characters of the landscape meet the mans'works of art.
Guided wine tastings (10.30am – 1pm – 3.30pm) including Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella explained through microclimate and terroir paired with local products and traditional biscuits from Pasticceria Perbellini.
Monday 11th November. Finally we see how four different PDO wines can be produced in one vineyard looking at winery styles, the climate and soil characteristics and the zones of the different valleys that make the area unique. The expert hand of the winemaker guides each indigenous grape variety through the processes needed to make the four types of wine: Valpolicella DOC, Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG. The first step towards making a great wine is the selection of grapes. The vine growers do this during harvest, at this time they decide which grapes will be allocated to the drying process used for Amarone and Recioto, and which to harvest later to use in the Valpolicella wines. The work continues in the winery where the wine-maker demonstrates his skills by choosing the most suitable production techniques needed to express the characteristics of the area in which the grapes are grown.
Guided wine tastings (10.30am – 1pm – 3.30pm) with Valpolicella Superiore, Valpolicella Ripasso and Amarone.
The tastings will be lead by experts from the Guida Vini Buoni d'Italia, Gianpaolo Giacobbo, Alessandro Scorsone and Paolo Ianna, alongside the director of the Consorzio Valpolicella Olga Bussinello with appearances from the national editor of the Vini Buoni d’Italia guide, Mario Busso.