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GRAPE VARIETIES


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CORVINA

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This grape has been cultivated in the Veneto region for at least several hundred years; the first written evidence goes back to 1627 when it was quoted in Alessandro Peccana’s paper: Problems of Cold Drinks. Light crimson in colour, it is fairly tart, medium to full bodied with aromas of fruit, black cherries and almonds.The grape has a tendency to ripen quite late, usually around the end of September sometimes extending into October and is only quality driven when yields are cut dramatically. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the first number of buds on the cane do not fruit therefore requiring a longer cane and lots of space which is provided by pergola or spalliera training. The leaf is of a medium size, pentagonal in shape with five lobes and deep inlets with superimposed borders: the inner part of the leaf is less velvety, which differentiates it from the Corvinone. The vine produces bunches of a medium size also being compact, long and pyramid shaped with asymmetrical wings. The berries are medium sized, round with a violet blue colour, thin skinned and covered with plenty of bloom. The grape enhances its richness and complexity during the drying process. Vulnerable to attack from Botrytis, it performs well on certain soil types, primarily volcanic toar, chalk or alluvial, especially on hillside sites. Is also known as Corvina Veronese or Cruina.


CORVINONE

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Translated: “Big Corvina” .There is argument as to whether this is a specific variety or a relative of Corvina, further confusion arises as some producers do label this grape as Corvina, however since the 1980s it has been considered as a separate clone or variety. There are apparent differences, for instance larger berries with more tannin and colour and a higher sugar content with ripening, which is later than Corvina but still retaining the thick skin associated with the former. The vine produces compact, cylindrical pyramid shaped bunches with a single wing. More blue in colour with a smooth thick skin. Finally is does not suffer like Corvina with non-fruiting buds and matures somewhat later. Vulnerable to attack from Botrytis even more so than Corvina and another vine which benefits from hillside sites and can give better concentration than Corvina in the right conditions. Whilst not an authorised variety it has always been a part of Amarone and then current opinion was that when the DOC laws were first applied in 1968 it was thought that Corvina and Convinone were the same.  Also known as Corbinona.

RONDINELLA

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This is the easiest grape to grow and is the most widespread red variety in the Veneto region. It is popular with growers as it provides high yields with the addition of being disease resistant. Whilst less perfumed it is a reliable cropper and ripens early. No historical reference exists before the 1800s. The first mention is in the 1882 publication “Agrarian Monograph of the Verona Province”. The leaf is pentagonal but its inlet are a shallow u shape and the vine produces bunches which are pyramid shaped and medium sized with round purple black smooth grapes. Good resistance to mould, disease, insects and drought. Like Corvina it responds well to appassimento as its small berries evaporate quicker.


MOLINARA

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This grape is used least in percentage terms within Valpolicella blends. An easy drinking variety with little colour or tannin but providing a savouriness with a touch of acidity. Again producing bunches which are of a compact pyramid shaped nature and medium sized with round reddish grapes. The leaves have only three lobes with lateral shallow inlets with a touch of fur on the veins. A late ripener: usually at the same time as Corvina but can suffer in humid micro climates. Highly resistant to rot. Also known as Rosanella or Brepon.


BLEND PROPORTIONS

Valpolicella blends should adhere to the DOC percentages as follows: 

Corvina:                        40% - 70%

Rondinella:                   20% - 40%

Molinara:                      5% – 25% 

Other Authorised Varieties and proportions: 

15% of the final blend can be made up of other authorised grapes:

Barbera
Negrara
Trentina
Rossignola
Sangiovese 

Also up to 5% of the following varieties can be used, as long as it is within the above 15%: 

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Croatina
Dindarella (Pelara)
Forsellina
Lagrein
Lambrusco
Marzemino
Merlot
Oseleta
Pinot Nero
Raboso Veronese
Teroldego


Zenato

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