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The changing styles of Valpolicella: Fresh vs dried grapes

Expressing Valpolicella’s true spirit is a matter of taste, reveals Michael Garner…

Ernest Hemingway knew exactly what to expect from his glass of Valpolicella. In his 1950 novel Across the River and into the Trees, his mouthpiece, the cantankerous Colonel Cantwell, refers to his favourite drop as ‘the light, dry red wine which was as friendly as the house of your brother’. His readers might struggle to find an example to fit that description today: Valpolicella is a wine style in real crisis. Production has plummeted, and the style Hemingway loved is being squeezed flat between two monoliths: Ripasso and Amarone. The boom in the popularity of Amarone has caused an even more stratospheric rise for Ripasso: the more Amarone is made, the more lees become available and the greater the quantity of Valpolicella being refermented on those lees.


Scroll down for Michael Garner’s top 8 Valpolicellas made with fresh and dried grapes


 


See Michael Garner’s top 8 Valpolicellas made with fresh and dried grapes


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