The letter A is an important one in Valpolicella, a wine-growing region in the Veneto about an hour and half from Venice. A stands for Amarone della Valpolicella, the region’s most famous wine, and the Allegrini family, one of the wine’s most prestigious makers. Few Italian wines are more distinctive or precious than Amarone. Long hours and hard work are bottled into a rich, powerful, yet balanced wine. Producing this wine requires a high level of expertise, one that the Allegrini family has perfected over its 500 years of winemaking, producing wines and passing on the traditions of the region of Veneto with passion and excellence.
Amarone: the Appassimento Process
Amarone is a wine very particular to the Veneto. To make Amarone, the grapes (including Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara, and Oseleta) must first be dehydrated in a process called appassimento. Then the grapes, which have been dried into raisins, are vinified. To put this into perspective, consider this: A typical bottle of wine has approximately 2.25 pounds of grapes in it, but in Amarone there is nearly 23 pounds![Tweet “A typical bottle of wine has 2.25 pounds of grapes in it. In Amarone there is nearly 23 pounds!”]
This appassimento process is what packs the punch in a bottle of this elegant wine, sometimes called a vino da meditazione, since it is often consumed by itself and by those who can discuss and meditate on its wonders. Depending on the combination of varietals, it can also be paired well with grilled meats, Gorgonzola and even dry, crunchy desserts.
Allegrini’s Amarone is fantastic, but then there is also Palazzo della Torre, fruit of the family’s innovation and creativity. All Allegrini wine has a story to tell, and here especially the bottle tells its own story. The antique-looking large etiquette on the front recounts the story of how grapes are transformed into this complex and elegant wine. Composed of the traditional Amarone varietals with a small addition of Sangiovese, 70% of this wine is vinified after the harvest, while the rest undergoes the appassimento process, which is why it is sometimes called a Baby Amarone. After the two juices are united and aged for 15 months in the barrel, the result is a well-balanced, rich and fruity wine, which tastes of ripe black cherries and mature, dark fruits.
Allegrini’s Villa della Torre Estate
Palazzo della Torre is made from vines growing near the family’s ornate Venetian estate called Villa della Torre, whose elegant beauty and Renaissance architecture breathes nothing but tradition. The story of the Villa stretches back to the parties of the Venetian doges in the 16th century, but Allegrini didn’t enter the villa’s history until the early 1900’s when Giovanni Allegrini began working at its vineyard Palazzo della Torre as a sharecropper. After achieving marked success in the wine world, the family purchased the villa, which now serves as their headquarters.
Like Allegrini wines, the Villa represents Italian culture and local tradition. The Renaissance estate is a perfect example of what the Veneto region has to offer. To experience this tradition, it is possible to book a private visit to Villa della Torre. Here you will visit the historic cantina, learn about the wine-making methods of the Veneto area and taste the family’s internationally recognized wine. You will also have a private guided tour through the luxurious Villa, learning about its particular architectural design before ending this exclusive visit ends with a light lunch, accompanied by three of the family’s best wines.
After sampling the local fare with wines from the Valpolicella region, you will understand why the Veneto region produces around 20% of all Italian wines: the grapes are so divine! To experience this exclusive visit to Villa della Torre you can either depart from Venice (110 km from the Allegrini estate) or Verona (15 km away).[Tweet “the Veneto region produces around 20% of all Italian wines”]
Nearby Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, is located just outside the Valpolicella hills. To discover this ancient city, stay in Allegrini’s luxury apartment in the heart of downtown, just steps away from the Arena and Juliet’s balcony. Enjoy a spritz in Piazza delle Erbe, followed by dinner at the Antica Bottega del Vino before returning to your cozy bedroom in Marilisa Allegrini’s private apartment.
Tuscan Wine Experience at San Polo Estate
Allegrini’s Italian stamp doesn’t end here. Heading farther south to Tuscany, lies another Allegrini estate, San Polo. In 2007 the family partnered with Winebow’s Leonardo Locascio in order to expand to Montalcino, bringing with them their expertise in wine-making and Veneto know-how to try their hand at another king Italian grape: Brunello.
Producing excellent Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino, along with a Super Tuscan called Mezzopan and a Sangiovese called Rubio, this eco-sustainable vineyard understands the need for harmony between the environment and wine-making process. Powered by renewable resources, the winery has implemented many environmentally conscious methods to respect the land where their splendid fruits are harvested.
You don’t have to visit San Polo to learn that they are environmentally conscious, just pop open a bottle of their wine. Their bottles are closed with Nomacorc: the “world’s first zero carbon footprint closure,” as it reads. Made from plant-based polymers, these bottle stoppers are more renewable and less destructive to the earth than cork itself. In spite of these ultra-modern practices, the tradition of wine-making continues and the family is considered innovators in the world of Brunello.
San Polo produces a fantastic wine called Rubio, which means “ruby” in Italian. Rubio is an easy-going and fresh Sangiovese with fruity aromas, followed by spicy undertones. Intense and persistent, it is moderate in tannins and can be paired with cured or grilled meats or even a Tuscan pecorino cheese. Sink your teeth (or lips!) into this great ruby-red wine from the Siena hills by touring San Polo, where you will visit their biologically-farmed vineyards and splendid wine cellar. After you will have the pleasure of sitting down to enjoy a multiple-course meal of local Tuscan cuisine and the best wine that San Polo has to offer.
Poggio al Tesoro
The Allegrini Experience begins in the Valpolicella region and expands to Montalcino. What’s left to complete the experience? Poggio al Tesoro. Located on the coast of Tuscany in Bolgheri, Poggio al Tesoro is truly the treasure, as its name claims to be. The 170-acre vineyards are planted with international varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Merlot. They also grow a white Italian grape called Vermentino.
Poggio al Tesoro marries value and exceptional quality with expertise and experience; they produce five wines which celebrate these international grapes: three reds, one rosè and one white. To taste these wines right on the territory on which they grow, visit Poggio al Tesoro. There you will tour a 40 acre vineyard and taste the local dishes and the excellent Supertuscan wines of the Allegrini family in a lunch at the winery.
All three of these magnificent Allegrini estates are unique and all revolve around yet another A: amore – their love for wine.
To experience this historic family’s love for wine and some of the best wines that Italy has to offer sign up for the complete Allegrini Experience. Spend seven days discovering the world of Allegrini wine, including visits to Villa della Torre, San Polo and Poggio al Tesoro. Beginning in Venice, you will tour the city and visit the Wine Suite at five-star Hotel Danieli, where you will also spend two nights. Next stop is Verona to the Allegrini family’s luxury apartment in the historic city center. From there you will visit the family’s estate Palazzo della Torre in the Valpolicella region, before moving on to Tuscany to discover two other Allegrini properties San Polo and Poggio al Tesoro Estates.
The Allegrini family wine transmits their love for their culture, history, and home. Have you tried any of their wines or visited their estates?