Top Amarone Wineries
A historic and prestigious wine-growing area like Valpolicella has, among the many wineries that characterize it, also several cellars of excellence and fame not only in Italy, but also internationally. The reasons why these companies excelled are many. It can be the size, which allowed them to reach far away markets, thus becoming recognizable quality brands in the world. Or it could be the historicity of the brand and the peculiarities of the winery and products. Or the uniqueness of the quality and the limited availability of the product, which make it exclusive like a real a luxury brand.
For further information or to book an Amarone tour of Valpolicella that focused on top wineries and brands:
Although Giuseppe Quintarelli, the founder, passed away a few years ago, the name Quintarelli continues to be an almost legendary landmark of Valpolicella. It is a winery that has never compromised on quality, even if this meant reducing the quantity of grapes to a minimum, increasing the use of labor to select the best bunches, lengthening the drying of the grapes and aging in casks, even three or four times the minimum required. All this obviously has a cost, which inevitably, together with the prestige that Quintarelli's hand written label has obtained, reflects in the price, which however does not discourage wine enthusiasts from all over the world. The winery has recently been enlarged and renovated, making it in line with the expectations of those who come to visit it on the eastern side of the Negrar valley, in the Valpolicella Classica. The tour of Quintarelli winery is very thorough, showing all the stages of production, along with many historical bottles from the private collection exhibited as works of art. The tasting includes all the current vintages of the portfolio.
Romano Dal Forno
Romano Dal Forno is certainly the other legendary producer of Valpolicella, in this case in the extended region since the winery is located in Val D'Illasi, in the eastern part of the production area. The wines of Dal Forno, particularly the Amarone, have now almost become status symbols, appreciated by connoisseurs and enthusiasts for their great power and complexity, and are found in the most prestigious restaurants around the world. Also in this case, very low yields and long aging in small French oak barrels give a complex and very rich wine. The brand new cellar has been built with the features of an ancient Venetian villa, with a futuristic fruttaio loft for drying of the grapes for Amarone and Recioto, and a suggestive underground cellar with thousands of barriques lined up between columns, brick vaults and sculptures. Visits are possible depending on availability and normally there is no tasting at the end of the tour.
Bertani is perhaps the winery that has contributed the most in
making the history of modern Veronese oenology and
Amarone. Many people consider Amarone Classico Bertani
the benchmark against which modern
interpretations of this wine that follow fashions and market
trends are judged. The winery was founded in 1857,
even before Italy existed, by the two Bertani brothers, Gaetano
and Giovan Battista. Because of their involvement in the
independence movements against the Hapsburg Empire that occupied
the Veneto region in those years, they went into exile. Gaetano
found refuge in France where he became a pupil of Guyot,
father of modern oenology. Returning home after
the annexation of Veneto to Italy, he introduced into his family
business what he had learned in France. These were still the years
in which in Italy wine was considered food, an indispensable and
daily element of every table, that had to be abundant, cheap and
sufficiently good. Bertani began to reduce the quantities per
hectare, improved the blends of selected grapes, lengthened the
aging in barrels, using modern cellar practices that made the
wines drier, more stable and especially better. The success was
resounding, not only locally, but also nationally and
internationally, so much that Soave Bertani was on the wine list
for the celebrations of the coronation of King George VI of
England in 1937.
The longevity of the Amaroni Bertani is legendary, bottles from the 1960s are still available at the winery shop of the winery, all guaranteed to be drinkable, and the Recioto Acinatico 1928, with its rocambolesque story, still hits high records at international auctions.
The Bertani winery in Grezzana - Valpantena is a unique place, where you can breathe elegance, history and tradition, in the large underground vaults where the Amarone ages for at least 6 years in huge oak barrels and other fine woods.
Sandro Boscaini, president of the Masi group, had such a decisive
role in making the Amarone internationally famous that he has been
nicknamed Mr Amarone. The bottles of Amarone
Costasera and Campofiorin are now
iconic images inextricably linked to the contemporary history of
Valpolicella. Today Masi is a large international group,
listed on the stock exchange and which groups together numerous
wineries, wine stores and restaurants, both in Italy and
worldwide. The heart of Masi, however, remains in the middle of
Valpolicella, in the headquarters and in the historic cellar,
which today is a modern wine-producing center
where tradition, innovation and art are combined.
A visit to the Masi winery, together with the historic Serego Alighieri estate that is part of the group, is an experience that always leaves astounded even the most experienced wine connoisseurs.
Tommasi is also one of the most important wineries in
Valpolicella, among those that, thanks to their ability
to reach international markets, even more distant and
difficult, with products that skillfully combine quality
with quantity. Even the label of Amarone Tommasi is now
an iconic and recognizable image. The historical
headquarters in Pedemonte, in the heart of the Valpolicella
Classica, is a large modern and functional cellar,
where every day crates of Amarone della Valpolicella leave to
reach faraway countries.
The hospitality and tasting area has recently been enlarged and renovated and is now definitely in line with the prestige of this label. It is possible to visit the impressive ageing cellar, where Magnifica, one of the largest oak barrels in the world, surrounded by expanses of just slightly smaller casks, is on display. In the hospitality area there are also posters, video, displays on grapes, soil, history, etc., that makes it almost a museum of Valpolicella and Tommasi winery.
Top cellars, with their refined or flamboyant hospitality areas,
are always a very interesting stop to include in a selection of
wineries for a wine tour.
If you have a favorite cellar or wine style that you would like to add in a guided wine tasting tour of Valpolicella do not hesitate and we will be happy to design and itinerary to suit your taste.