With over 2,000 native grape varieties in Italy, it’s hard to keep track of all the regions and styles. This producer in the Veneto region of Northern Italy (where you’ll find Venice) only chooses to make one wine, Il Valpolicella, and they have perfected it - each year, making only 4,000 bottles and numbering each one. Traditionally made from local grapes, it’s much more serious than a table wine for your pizza, but far more friendly than say, a Barolo. It’s also a bargain for such a well-crafted, classic, Italian wine.
This is a versatile wine to pair and a good alternative to Pinot Noir, Gamay or Beaujolais. It has bright fruity flavors, but then gets a bit serious on the finish without being overly tannic or mouth-coating. It’s an incredible dinner party wine and pairs well with the lighter vegetarian fare as well as heavier meaty dishes.
In their words, “Il Valpolicella - it’s a new concept of Valpolicella wine, not because something new has been added but, instead, we took away and simplified a lot. We went cleaning up and digging into the enological techniques in order to go back to the roots. This wine is our will to interpret and express to its full potential a territory, a vineyard and an excellent and peculiar grape blend.”
The term ‘Classico’ refers to the fact that these wines are grown in a section of the Valpolicella region that is historically recognized for better quality. A bottle of Valpolicella Classico will be similar to regular Valpolicella, but it will usually have a wider array of aromas, more depth of flavor, and a longer finish. These wines are still affordable, and can offer great quality for the price.