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valpolicella the major wine of the region, from the hills north of Verona. Valpolicella is a classic case of a wine in transition. It can be a simple, easy to drink, volume wine. But it can also be, in its classico or riserva states, a deep, intensely fruity wine with a lot of character.

bardolino: a light, fruity, easily drinkable wine from the shores of Lake Garda. Also a rose.

cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc: in the northern parts of this region, the classic Bordeaux style grapes are used to produce a variety of wonderful red wines.

a class by itself:

amarone della Valpolicella: a heavy, almost syrupy wine made from grapes that have been left out to dry. Not much of this wine is produced, although it is growing more popular and in demand, and the styles of the vintners can vary quite a bit. It has superb aromas and flavors, with almost a chewy quality. Ideal to be sipped with a great cheese course. High in alcohol.



soave: this is the most widely produced and shipped white wine from Italy. Because of intense overproduction and lack of care during the last three or four decades it has a deservedly poor reputation. But it is also part of the change for the better in Italian wines. Vintners, especially around the beautiful village of Soave, are producing some excellent crisp, aromatic wines with a fine depth of flavor. Beware of the rest, however.

pinot grigio:  very popular now, and from the excellent producers, this is a crisp, clean but well-rounded and fruity delightful wine. Much pinot grigio, however, is bone dry and rather insipid.

and . . .

prosecco: a wonderful light and easy sparkling wine, simple and refreshing. Can be dry, medium or somewhat sweet.

grappa: this wonderful digestivo (wonderful to us, hated by some others), made from the refuse skins and pulp of winemaking is excellently produced in this region, with an emphasis more on the white wine grapes rather than the heavy reds of Piedmont grappa.


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