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5 things I learnt in Valpolicella and Prosecco


In September our wine tasting club paid a 4 day visit to the wineries of Valpoliccella, Prosecco, Lugano and Rotaliano in north-east Italy.

Here are 5 things I learnt.

  1. The meaning of Valpolicella

Val – meaning valley
Poli – many, like poly in English
Cella - cellar

Thus Valpolicella is the Valley with many cellars. There are more than 400 wineries in Valpolicella

  1. Valpolicella is a blend based on the Corvina grape
    Amarone is Valpolicella where the grapes have been dried for intensity
    Recioto is a sweet wine produced when Amarone fermentation is stopped
    Ripasso is Valpolicella refermented on skins left after pressing Amarone, it’s a midway between Valpolicalla and Amarone

  2. That from this year Prosecco can be pink and the Extra Brut classification is introduced for Prosecco with fewer than 7gL sugar

  3. How to pronounce Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.

Conegliano - Con nee lee ah no

Valdobbiadene - Val-dough bee-dee ard an-ay

  1. The Charmat method of secondary fementation in a large tank was invented by Italian Federico Martinotti but it was the Frenchman Charmat who patented it and whose name is used for it. The Prosecco producers we met called it the Martinotti method and didn’t like to name Charmat.