La Grola
SURFACE AREA: 75 acres

GEOLOGICAL COMPOSITION OF THE SOIL: subsoil made up of limestone with some layers of marl.


EXPOSURE: East, South.


ESTATE: Allegrini

WINEMAKER: Marilisa Allegrini

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Allegrini estate

A historical Valpolicella holding renowned for its geographical position and the quality of the grapes produced, La Grola covers around 75 acres in the locality of Sant’Ambrogio.
The aim of the original planting in 1979, revolutionary at the time due to the introduction of the Guyot system and the increase in vine density to some 6,500/ hectare (2,600/acre), was to bring out the best in the Corvina grape, the most representative of the Valpolicella region. The unique and highly favourable micro-climate, generated by a combination of factors that cannot be found elsewhere in Valpolicella, allows the cultivation of grapes of the highest quality. Indeed, the soil is fairly thin, with a clay-limestone composition and a rocky skeleton. It is not overly fertile, making it ideal for vines, and contains notable quantities of potassium and calcium. The limey nature of the subsoil helps to keep the vines in a condition of minor stress, limiting the quantity of grapes produced but greatly enhancing the quality. The marly clay, on the other hand, improves the polyphenolic concentration of the grapes. As for the climate, the zone is protected from cold North winds by Monte Pastello, while the vicinity of Lake Garda acts as a moderating force throughout the year, preventing excessive changes in temperature.

At the hill’s summit is another small vineyard covering 5.5 acres.
Planted in 1979 using the same innovative techniques introduced at La Grola, it was identified by Giovanni Allegrini as the perfect place for the production of Corvina grapes of such high quality that they could be used as a single variety to make wine. The climatic conditions are the same as for La Grola, but there is a considerable difference in the terrain. Indeed, La Poja is a flat terrace at the top of the hill, 320m above sea level. The thin, stony soil has a completely white surface that reflects the sunlight perfectly, guaranteeing optimum maturation of sugars and phenols. The result is the harvesting of the vines around a week earlier than those located in less exalted positions.

According to the production code, Amarone is 45% to 95% made from Corvina grapes, with the remainder coming from Molinara grapes (from 5% to 30%) and other red varieties. The minimum aging period is two years; after four years it can be labelled as a reserve wine. The minimum ABV is 14%.

This history of Amarone dates back to the end of the Second World War in the mid-1940s. Legend has it that during the war many winemakers hid bottles of Recioto in their cellars, and as they were not able to check on them regularly, some of the wine had enough time to ferment, mature and age. This practice had never been attempted previously; indeed, at the time there was no tradition of aging wine, not even the highly praised Recioto. The Recioto that was allowed to continue to ferment was dubbed Recioto scapà (‘escaped’ Recioto). When tasted it was no longer sweet, in fact it had turned rather bitter. It was later renamed as Amarone, from the Italian for very bitter: “Senti che amaro è questo vin, anzi… è amarone!” Amarone’s great potential was certainly not recognised immediately. On the contrary, initially the wine was greatly misunderstood, and considered the product of a costly mistake. It clearly was not pleasing to the palates of the time, and so ‘escaped’ Recioto was considered to be a ruined wine that could be decanted in small amounts into weak Valpolicella to fortify its structure. The Bertani and Bolla cellars were the first to grasp the product’s great potential, aging it for ten years and then bottling large quantities that were successfully exported across Europe. The wine’s major commercial breakthrough year was 1985, when Amarone achieved hitherto unknown success and became the most famous Veneto red in the world. At the beginning there was no production code for Amarone. In 1968 it was still confined to a single line: “there is a dry version of Recioto della Valpolicella known as Amarone”. How things changed in less than twenty years! To all intents and purposes, Amarone is a fairly recent phenomenon. It was initially only consumed locally, although it was appreciated by true connoisseurs the world over. It is a wine with unique characteristics, rich in alcohol and with a high glycerin content, it is very well structured and powerful, but still retains its elegance. It is deep ruby red in colour, soft and well structured, with claret or violet hues, and has a ripe fruity aroma, with hints of spices, chocolate and underlying pyrite.
The grape varieties available
in Amarone - La Grola