This August, I had the opportunity to live with an Italian family in the countryside of Verona, one of the most beautiful areas in northern Italy. Our shared love of food and wine quickly brought us together, and by the end of my stay, I felt like a bona fide Italian! Their house was located a few minutes from the famous vineyards of Valpolicella, home to the world-renowned Amarone. Being one of Italy’s top wine-manufacturing areas, wine plays fundamental role in the economy, regional identity, and everyday life.
Wine is so popular in Valpolicella, that it is sold like petrol. Huge stores on the side of the road pump your wine into large containers from a nozzle, and charge very little. Surprisingly however, the quality is superb, as these wines are sourced from local vineyards.
One afternoon, my host family brought me to Cantina Ronca, a small, organic winery in the region. This family-run business makes artisanal wines, using only grapes from their own vineyard. After harvesting the grapes by hand, the wine-makers begin working with them immediately. This means that preservatives are not required—lowering the risk of a bad hangover!
One of the wines I sampled was called Corvina, named after the regions famous Corvina grapes. With fruity aromas and subtle tannins, it is easy to drink while maintaining complexity. It is one of my favourite wines, as its flavours become more pronounced with every sip. Corvina should be served at room temperature, and is wonderful alone or with meats and cheeses.
All wine lovers should make a trip to Valpolicella at least once in their lifetime to try some of the most exquisite wines in the world!