Exploring the Ancient Vineyards of Valpolicella, Italy

In August of 2017, we wrote a blog post all about Verona. Verona is the capital of Italy’s wine trade, hosting the country’s most important wine fair, Vinitaly, each year.  For this reason, the city has developed a specialist interest in wine.

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Valpolicella, one of the most prestigious wine-making regions in Italy, has been dedicated to the craft of winemaking since ancient times, as the etymology of its name suggests. "Val polis cellae" means, in fact, "the valley of many cellars." This region is located in the eastern part of Veneto, between Verona and Lake Garda, with its boundary demarcated to the north by the Lessini mountains.

The territory extends for some 240 km² (92 mi²) and the surface area dedicated to vineyards totals some 6,000 hectares (14,826 acres). The area referred to as ‘Valpolicella Classico’ lies within the boundaries of just 5 towns: Sant’Ambrogio, San Pietro in Cariano, Fumane, Marano and Negrar. Valpolicella Classico is most suited to the production of high-quality, prestigious wines due to its ideal altitude and predominantly calcareous soils that date back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The climate is generally mild and temperate with rainfall of around 900 – 1100 mm (35-43 inches) per year.

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How Did It All Begin In Valpolicella?

The story of the Accordini Igino Winery began in 1821 in the heart of Valpolicella, an area with strong and deeply rooted tradition of viticulture and winemaking. This passion began thanks to an inheritance: three hectares of vineyards, whose wine was produced only for domestic use; the family used to love to spend springs and its spare time in this Cru, called “Le Bessole”. 

The successful story started here, from a domestic production to a national and international business, thanks to the tireless and devoted work of Guido Accordini, Igino’s son, and his wife Liliana, who are managing the winery toward so enological innovation, never forgetting tradition.  From the original three hectares, Accordini Igino Winery currently owns 35 hectares of
vineyards in the Valpolicella area.

Our Favorites From Valpolicella + Food Pairings

My favorite from this prestigious winery is the 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso, a wine that I cannot sing enough compliments for! This bottle has nice acidity, no harsh flavors, soft tannins and a velvety finish. Yes, this is that kind of wine! As soon as I uncork, I smell ripe cherries and rose petals. After one sip, I taste plums, raisins, and black cherries with soft notes of leather, chocolate, coffee, cedar, and thyme.

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I love to pair the 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso with a Veal Osso-Bucco or a seared steak with garlic and fresh rosemary, finished with some olive oil and cracked black pepper. Try it with some Italian sausage with grilled roast peppers and fresh crusty bread for a casual Saturday meal!

Need more Italian wines? Our next Teach n' Taste class in Tampa is all about new wines in Italy, including the 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso. Check our calendar for dates!

You can always reserve your seat by emailing us at timeforwine@tampabay.rr.net, or by calling (813) 664-1430.

Salud!