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Varietal: Red Blend
Includes red wines where there is either no predominant variety or the blend is proprietary.
With vines stretching from its most southerly Mediterranean islands all the way to the foothills of the Alps, Italy has, just behind France and Spain, the most land under vines and exports more than any other country. With dozens of regions,and an even greater number of indigenous varieties particular to those regions, understanding all of Italy's wine can be a thoroughly exciting but lifetime long challenge. The most popular regions include; Piedmont, the home of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Muscato, to name a few; Tuscany, known for Sangiovese, particularly in the Chianti area and the town of Brunello; And thirdly the Veneto, for its Prosecco and Pinot Grigio. Southern Italy's regions; Abruzzo, Campagnia and Puglia, not to forget the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are a great source of food-friendly and very affordable wines.
Located in north east Italy, Veneto is one of Italy’s major wine regions. Pinot Grigio and Gargenega are the two most popular white varieties and account for most of the region's still wine. Meanwhile, Prosecco, made in the hills of Conegliano, is responsible for the country’s most popular sparkling wine. Tucked away in the foothills of the Lessini Moutains north of Verona, Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella are responsible for making some of the country’s most famous fine wine.
Sub-Region: Amarone della Valpolicella
Amarone della Valpollicella is responsible for producing Italy’s finest rich, full-bodied, and unfortified, dry red wine. Dry Amarone is a relatively new style of wine and was only officially recognized since 1953. It was thought to have been made accidently when some fermenting grape must, destined to be fashioned into the sweeter ‘Recioto dell Valpolicella’, was forgotten about and left in the vat until it fermented to dryness. The wine is made from three principal grapes, Corvina and Corvinone, which must comprise a minimum of 80% of the blend, and Rondinella. Molinara and Croatina are also used in small amounts. Once the grapes are harvested they are left to dry on racks in lofts for about 100 days over the winter to concentrate. The fruit is then pressed and fermented the following March and left to age in casks for up to seven years. Valpolicella Ripasso, is similar in style but a notch down in intensity and is made with the addition of Amarone’s left-over grape pomace.
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used.
Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.