Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011
The initiative of Carlo and Caterina was inherited by Giuseppe, one of the ten children, who together with his brothers purchased in 1926 "L'Antica Osteria ai Portoni Borsari" in Verona offering the wines produced by the family farm.
In the 1940s, with the outbreak of the Second World War, he moved with his children, Giancarlo and Luigi, to the current location in Valgatara, where he continues and develops the production and selection of Veronese Classic wines. Giuseppe acquires most of the vineyards from the brothers and continues his journey with the aim of creating a high-quality product. Thus the current company began to take shape and the historic barrel cellar was built, where the most traditional Valpolicella reds are still refined today. Luigi, as a boy, decided to continue the family wine business. After reaching the age of majority, he initially dedicated himself to delivering wine in the area and bought the first truck: during this period, he met the different customers and developed his "commercial spirit" by expanding the clientele who appreciated Campagnola wines.
In the 70s, he had the intuition to combine the production of high quality wines with that of "good everyday wine", responding to the needs of a market that is constantly growing. Thus, began the rise of the company, which also added provincial and regional wines to its local production, meeting the favor of the market, also abroad, and in particular in Europe.
In 1979 the young Giuseppe joined the company, who together with his father and sisters Antonella and Monica, now leads Giuseppe Campagnola Spa. After a first production experience, Giuseppe dedicated himself to commercial development in the Italian and foreign market while his father Luigi personally followed all stages of production, in particular the selection of grapes in the vineyard and the most important and delicate drying phase to obtain the prestigious Recioto and Amarone. Since the beginning of the 90s the market is increasingly oriented towards high-end products: Campagnola, thanks to its experience and production capacity, focuses its efforts on the production of the great red wines of Valpolicella inspired by excellence.
They have proudly reached the fifth generation. Luigi Campagnola has transmitted with enthusiasm and constant dedication to children and grandchildren, the bond with their land, the love for the vineyard and the wine, the commitment and constant dedication to the art of winemaking, sure of how these characteristics, transmitted in more than one hundred years of history, they can continue to live from generation to generation.
Today the Campagnola company follows the cultivation of the vineyards, selects the grapes and actively collaborates with over 50 winemakers of the most suitable vineyards of the municipality of Marano di Valpolicella for an extension of about 80 hectares. It also has 30 hectares in the Classical Bardolino area, 25 hectares in Mortegliano in Friuli Venezia Giulia and collaborates with the wine growers in the Soave area for about 20 hectares.
Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines, Valpolicella literally translates to the “valley of cellars” and is composed of a series of valleys (named Fumane, Marano and Negrare) that start in the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains and end in the southern plains of the Veneto. Here vineyards adorn the valley hillsides, rising up to just over 1,300 feet.
The classification of its red wines makes this appellation unique. Whereas most Italian regions claim the wines from one or two grapes as superior, or specific vineyards or communes most admirable, Valpolicella ranks the caliber of its red wines based on delimited production methods, and every tier uses the same basic blending grapes.
Corvina holds the most esteem among varieties here and provides the backbone of the best reds of Valpolicella. Also typical in the blends, in lesser quantities, are Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Corvinone and a few other minor red varieties.
Valpolicella Classico, the simplest category, is where the region’s top values are found and resembles in style light and fruity Beaujolais. The next tier of reds, called Valpolicella Superiore, represents a darker and more serious and concentrated expression of Valpolicella, capable of pairing with red meat, roast poultry and hard cheeses.
Most prestigious in Valpolicella are the dry red, Amarone della Valpolicella, and its sweet counterpart, Recioto della Valpolicella. Both are created from harvested grapes left to dry for three to five months before going to press, resulting in intensely rich, lush, cerebral and cellar-worthy wines.
Falling in between Valpolicella Superiore and Amarone is a style called Valpolicella Ripasso, which has become immensely popular only since the turn of the century. Ripasso literally means “repassed” and is made by macerating fresh Valpolicella on the pressed grape skins of Amarone. As a result, a Ripasso will have more depth and complexity compared to a regular Superiore but is more approachable than an Amarone.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.