Grape(s): Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara
Localization: Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Tasting Notes: Valpolicella Classico is elegant, with aromas and flavors of spicy raspberries and black cherries. It’s aromatically complex, with fine aromas of blackberries, anise, and Asian spices. It is a wine for pizza, fresh, fruity, and vibrant, working just as well with the sausage, kale, and vinegar pepper pizza as it does with the classic Margherita. Be sure to check it out on your next pizza night.
The Domain: The Azienda Agricola Ca’ la Bionda is situated in the commune of Marano di Valpolicella, in the heart of the historically “classic” zone of the Valpolicella. The vineyard area extends over 29 hectares of hillside land at an altitude between 150 and 300 meters above sea level and with eastern exposure. The winery, recently renovated and restructured, was founded in 1902 by Pietro Castellani, a passionate and dedicated grape grower and wine-maker.
The Castellani family, currently in its fourth generation, continues with the same commitment and passion the work began by Pietro more than one hundred years ago. All phases of the wine-making process, cultivation of the highest quality grapes, grape harvest, vinification, aging, and marketing are carried out directly by the family. Particular attention and care are given to the delicate process of grape drying or “appassimento” that is essential for the making of Recioto and Amarone, the region’s greatest and most noble wines.
While the new winery demonstrates great aesthetic taste it is above all highly practical and functional. By exploiting the natural topography of the land the new winery has been designed without the need to use pumps for moving musts and wine around the winery. As the different phases of the process of vinification are carried out on different levels of the winery we are able to exploit the force of gravity for shifting volumes of must or wine around the winery. In this way, the wine is not subjected to the violent impact that is typical of a pump and ensures better preservation of all the wine’s inherent qualities.
The particular micro-climate, soil composition, and hill-side topography of this vineyard provide all the necessary conditions for the making of a red wine of great pedigree. We have made a conscious decision to use all the grapes from this vineyard for the making of this wine, thus eliminating the selection of the best grapes for the making of an Amarone, as tends to be common practice in the Valpolicella region. We have also chosen not to employ the currently fashionable technique of “ripasso” which involves macerating the must of another wine with the pressings of Amarone as we feel the grapes are of such a high quality that this “corrective” measure is unnecessary.