Family Run Amarone Wineries
Even if you have a favorite Amarone from one big, well known
estate that you would like to visit while in Valpolicella, do not
miss the opportunity to also try the unique and very personal
experience of visiting a smaller, family owned winery.
Family wineries offer the chance to talk and ask questions about vine growing and wine making directly to the people involved in the winery, feeling their passion for the land, the vine and the tradition, listen to their unique stories and biography: people that started making wines with their grandfather when they where kids, or that quit careers as lawyers and accountants just for the passion of wine.
For further information or to book an Amarone wine tour:
Big Cellars Vs Boutique Wineries
In Valpolicella there are more than 200 wineries. Even if there are few big names such as Masi, Tommasi, Sartori, Pasqua that produce several million bottles a year that can be easily found in wine shops and restaurants around the world, the majority of the cellars are actually smaller family-run wineries, with vineyards that generally range between 10 to 20 hectares (24-50 acres) and a production that hardly exceeds 100,000 bottles a year. Companies of this size can be easily managed with the work of 2-3 people who are often family members: fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, cousins, etc.. The visit in such boutique wineries in Valpolicella is always a good experience. It is often possible to talk directly to those who make the wine, with their every day work and passion, which makes the tour so much personal, while in larger companies it is usually an employee that will show you around.
The wine produced in smaller wineries is generally more closely related to territory and vintages. Large wineries tend to have more uniform products, with a constant taste and style over the years that is the result of blendings and cellar practices that ensure standardization. Small wineries, on the contrary, produce wine with grapes that come from their own vineyards and therefore the final result is not easily modifiable. Moreover the wine of family owned cellar often reflects the taste and character not only of the vintage, but also of the owners themselves, who basically make the wine they like to drink.
Being so personal, even cellars are very diverse, ranging from
simple countryside farms with no frills, places
where they just work and make wine leaving no time for anything
else, to elegant cottages finely restored where
you sample wines in comfortable rooms beautifully decorated with
marble and antique furniture.
This type of companies hardly change ownership and are generally passed down from generation to generation, continuing to accumulate knowledge and secrets of winemaking over time.
Export and wine shipping
Although these family-run wineries generally export more than
half of their production, quantities in terms of number of bottles
are little, and they are shared between many countries, so that it
is usually difficult to find these labels if not in few, selected,
restaurants and some wine shops.
Bigger companies often have no-compete agreements with their international importers and distributors and therefore often cannot ship wine. Smaller wineries, on the contrary, generally do not have exclusive contracts and therefore it is generally possible to buy and ship to most countries.
Flexible opening hours
Unlike large companies that have specific and fixed opening hours and days, in small businesses where the owner often lives nearby or even directly in the winery, it is usually possible to make visits also on Saturdays and Sundays and they are generally more flexible on visiting time.
Some of the family run wineries we collaborate with include: Meroni, Fratelli Vogadori, Valentina Cubi, Scriani, Le Marognole, Le Bignele, Corte Fornaledo, Clementi.
Suitable for individual tourists and for medium sized groups (50
seaters buses may have difficulties in getting through the small
alleys leading to some of the wineries).
For any further information on itineraries in Valpolicella wineries or to book a wine tour in any producing areas around Verona please send us a request: