In the heart of Valpolicella, Vigneto dei Salumi is home to a unique product, expression of the highest Italian creative genius, which combines the greatest wines of the territory, such as Amarone and Recioto, with the finest cured meat.
This magical union has come to life curiously by chance, as it happens for many of the best things in life, when Walter Ceradini, meat producer from Arbizzano di Negrar, tried to recover a culatello (a high-quality kind of ham) that had dried too much by wrapping it in a handkerchief hand-embroidered by his mother Isabella and moistened with Recioto. Not only the culatello did become softer, but the wine also inebriated it with its aromas making it even tastier.
For Walter was such an enlightenment and, after years of research and experimentation, finally he managed to create the perfect Vinappeso, a delicious ham aged even for over 24 months and then soaked in Amarone and Recioto. A secret process that gives the meat an explosion of surprising, yummy flavors.
Its craftsmanship requires great mastery: not only it’s made just with precious meat cuts from the Filiera di Parma and no chemical additives, but it also requires very accurate level of humidity, manual tying, a long seasoning, as well as the use of at least 3 liters of Amarone and Recioto for each 3 kg piece of Vinappeso.
The “preciousness” of the final product and its limited production mean that Vinappeso can’t be found in stores, but can only be tasted in the best restaurants in the world – chosen by chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Enrico Crippa, or Antonio Gioco, the host of the 12 Apostoli in Verona – as well as in the picturesque aging room of Vigneto dei Salumi. It’s here that the cured meat tastings are held, an extraordinary journey of discovery, led by Walter or Vittorino, through Vigneto’s best products accompanied by excellent wines.
The tasting experience includes the very best cured meats refined in wine: besides Isabella, the “queen” of the Vinappeso line, you can taste Giulietta, a ham flavored and seasoned in the cellar and then aged in Recioto and Amarone for 110/120 days; Grandentato, a salami refined for 45/50 days in “crystalline wine” and then seasoned in the cellar; the Speck Wine, soaked in wine during salting and then flavored with fresh herbs and smoked at the end of seasoning; the Salame Valpolicella, a salami with added wine inside; and Cotevino, a sublime pork sausage ready-to-be-cooked in its “crystalline wine”. Cheese lovers won’t be disappointed as here you can try also Vinotello, a soft cheese made with cow’s milk refined for 40/50 days in “crystalline wine”.
Just enough to have your head spinning as Vigneto dei Salumi offers over 20 different delicious products to choose from as well as a well-stocked cellar to pair them with the best Italian wines!
It seems that also Amarone, like Vinappeso, was born by chance: it is said that a bottle of Recioto Amaro was left to ferment too long so that, when it was opened, the cellarman commented: “But this is not bitter, it is amarone!” (where “amaro” in Italian stands for very bitter). The involuntary experiment pleased the winemaker who decided to bottle it and call it Amarone Extra.