Is Valpolicella a good wine?

Is Valpolicella a good wine?

Steven Murtagh

Written By Steven Murtagh

If you’re just starting out in the wide world of wine tasting and wine gift buying, it can be difficult to know what type of wine will be best suited to your recipient. This is only made more so when many fine wines feature names or classifications in other languages. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Valpolicella wines including where they come from, how they are classified, and what makes them great.


What are Valpolicella wines?

Valpolicella wines get their name from the winemaking district of the same name located in the northeast of Italy within the Veneto region. Wines are thought to have been produced here since the 6th century AD. This is largely due to its temperate climate and access to water, lying between Lake Garda and the Adriatic Sea.

In order to be classified as a Valpolicella DOC wine (Controlled Designation of Origin), wines must be made from at least 45% of the signature Corvina grape. Producers often blend this with Molinara and Rondinella grape varieties. The law surrounding Controlled Designation of Origin also considers the production area, harvested techniques, and ageing process when granting DOC status.


Classifications of Valpolicella wine

The Valpolicella region is responsible for producing five broad wine styles, each with different techniques and distinctive features. This includes:

  • Valpolicella Classico – this wine style is given the classification of ‘table wine’ as they are intended to be drunk after only a short time in the bottle. They are also often cheaper than the other styles of Valpolicella wines.
  • Valpolicella Superiore – a wine style known for deep colours and rich flavours. Valpolicella Superiore wines are aged for at least a year in wood.
  • Amarone della Valpolicella – to create this style, winemakers use a traditional method which sees whole grapes dried and fermented. The concentrated sugars give the wine a sweet and dry aspect with a strong alcohol content.
  • Recioto della Valpolicella – production of these wines follows a similar process to Amarone, except with a shorter fermentation. This causes residual sugar to be left within the wine, imparting an added sweetness.
  • Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso – intended to give Classico wines a richness that’s similar to that of an Amarone through pomace maceration. This style is the youngest of the Valpolicella wines, achieving DOC status in 2009.

Fine Valpolicella wines

The beauty of wine tasting is that everyone will have different elements they prefer in the drinking experience. The red wine produced in Valpolicella is considered some of the highest quality around due to its full-body, bold fruit flavours, tannic structure, and affordability. These aspects are perfectly exemplified by the following bottles which you can find in the Jean Juviniere online shop.

Amarone Montresor Satinato Della Valpollicella – Corvina: rich flavours of coffee and dark chocolate are contrasted with ripe cherries and other stone fruits. Perfect for red meat or strong cheese.

San Cassiano Valpolicella – Corvina: defined by flavours of cherry and red fruits, this wine features pleasing salt and spice notes due to the inclusion of Molinara grapes.

Looking for fine wine gifts?

Although Valpolicella is mainly known for its stunning red wines, there are many options from Italian winemakers if you’re looking for fine white wine. This district offers much variety for good wine to suit any occasion. The best way to get an insight into the world of fine wines is to book a personal wine tasting. One of our trained sommeliers will guide you through the history and production process of every wine you try. If you have any questions, simply get in touch.