The king of Italian red wines

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
L’Amarone — Veneto Secrets

One of the most appreciated wines in the world, it is told that Amarone is the result of a mistake, a forgetfulness. In the 30s, Adelino Lucchese, vintner of “Cantina Sociale di Negrar” of Valpolicella completely forgot a Barrel of Recioto Amaro and tasting it, he said surprised: “This is not “amaro” (trd. bitter), it is Amarone!”. The president of the newborn Winery at the times, Gaetano Dall’Ora liked the wine, and decided to bottle it anyway, naming it Amarone Extra.

Today, produced exclusively in Valpolicella, in the north of Verona, close to Lake Garda, Amarone is a raisin dry DOCG wine (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), protected and promoted by Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella since 1924, a territory that includes 19 municipalities in the province of Verona.

It is made of a blend of dark berry grapes from Valpolicella (Corvina Veronese from 45 to 95%, or Corvinone for a maximum of 50%, Rondinella from 5 to 30% and a small percentage of other wine variety) and brother, then, of the sweeter Recioto. It finds its origins at the beginning of the Roman era: the poet Catullo in Carme n. 27 (around 49 b.c.) talks about “vino amaro” (trd. “bitter wine”).

The secret of Amarone is the withering process. This technique consists in making the grapes settle during winter before the vinification, around 100 days, which become more than 120 for the Riserva type, even if each producer has its personal secret in the process of vinification to make more special this beloved wine.

A lifetime experience is a visit to the main wineries of Valpolicella. You will discover ancient breathtaking villas surrounded by thousand-years parks, there you can taste rare years and unique wines made from grapes from special vineyards.

Why you will love it
For the pleasure to know the Hannibal Lecter’s favorite wine, the main character of The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

Where to taste it
At the Bottega del Vino, in the center of Verona. It belongs to the Association born by the union of the historical wineries of the Valpolicella since 2010. Wine shop and restaurant, it boasts one of the most beautiful wineries in the world, with more than 14.000 wines!

The perfect pairing
Meditation wine, alone gives its best; among the dishes, Risotto with Amarone is absolutely to try.

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