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CLIMATE


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The overall climate is mild in the entire Valpolicella zone. The territory is well protected by the Lessini per-Alps to the north and has fortunate hillside or valley-bottom exposure to the south. The climate resembles the Mediterranean climate (cypresses and olives are present). Annual rainfall averages between the 850 mm. of the plains area, at 100 meters above sea level, to approximately 1200 mm. in the zone between 500 and 700 meters above sea level and 1000 mm. in the mountain zone. Minimum average temperatures (about 10C) were calculated in the period form may to September (the growth period for grapevines), between 12 and 15C whereas the average of maximums (about 18C) was calculated, during the same period, as between 23 and 30C. The directions of dominant winds are important from the point of view of climate. Winter winds come form the north-east (Bora or Greco). These are cold and fairly dry winds. South-east winds (Scirocco) are warm and humid. In the summer, together with mountain and valley breezes during days with stable weather and clear skies, we find west and north-west winds after strong thunderstorms. There are no dominant winds in the intermediate seasons: directions are extremely variable. The fhn (normally a winter wind) deserves special mention: it is a mild and very dry wind. These comments are insufficient to define microclimatic trends in these valleys and consequently we cannot say to what extent climate contributes to differences between the wines that are produced here. From a height point of view, without considering many other variables, we can roughly state that the upper Valpolicella (350-500 meters above sea level) has a more balanced production, rich in alcohol, unlike valley-bottom or plains products (produced at about 100 meters above sea level) which are less distinctive even though the quantities are more important.

SOIL


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The special geology of the Valpolicella zone has generated different types of soil. These can be indicated as follows:
- Red and brown soils lying on debris are found upstream from the terrace formed during the quaternary era that Joins S. Ambrogio to Parona. The Castelrotto hill is an exception, where we find brown soils on cretaceous marne. These red and brown soils, on top of debris, can also be found in the foothill zone up to the entry into the Fumane valleys, at San Floriano and in the first section of Valgatara up to Pozzo, at Pedemonte and part of the Negrar valley, penetrated by brown soils on cretaceous marnes.
- Compact red soils on eocene limestone are to be found to the north of S. Ambrogio and S. Giorgio and on the ridge that descends from S. Maria Valverde down to Gnirega, Valgatara, S. Floriano and Pedemonte. Terrain of the same nature is also found on the ridge that descends to Parona, Arbizzano and Novare. - Brown soils on cretaceous marnes are found in the high part of Valpolicella (Mazzurega, Purano, Monte Comune and part of the Negrar valley). - Compact red soils on basalt are limited to zones that mix landslides and limestone, located in the upper Marano and Negrar valleys. According to tests performed by the grape-growing test institute, brown soils on marne or basalt have a good potassium and phosphor dioxide content even though these are scarcely utilized by the plant. Limestone, with a few exceptions, ranges between 15 and 50% and Ph between 7 and 8.

Cantina Sociale Valpolicella Negrar


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