Valpolicella

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Valpolicella, lively red wine from the veneto region in north-east Italy. Vines are grown in a series of adjacent valleys descending from the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains north of Verona down to the plains in the south. The Fumane, Marano, and Negrare valleys, with vineyards on hillsides rising up to 400 m/1,312 ft, form the historic nucleus and have their own DOC Valpolicella Classico with 3,325 ha/8,213 acres of vines. Between the Classico zone and the plains to the east lie the 433 ha of Valpantena vineyards on both hillsides and plains. The total area of vineyard given over to regular DOC Valpolicella is 3,587 ha. Valpolicella, like a number of other historic areas of Italy, saw its production zone greatly enlarged when it achieved doc status in 1968. It was extended eastward as far as the boundary of the soave white wine zone, and south onto the fertile plains on the northern edge of the Po Valley. Although the total Valpolicella zone is large and varied, in general soils are more calcareous and temperatures lower in the north and on the hillsides, in the Classico area, while soils on the plains are distinctly heavier and deeper and temperatures higher. The majority of quality-conscious producers’ vineyards are to be found on hillsides only.