#WineStudio Session XI – Valleys of Valpolicella

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February 4, 2014 6:00 pm
February 25, 2014 7:00 pm
PROTOCOL wine studio
[email protected]

What is #WineStudio?
PROTOCOL wine studio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and wine tasting, with discussions on producers, grapes, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to us as wine drinkers.

Tina and GUY have teamed with Aaron Epstein (AKA The Winedad) to create a curated wine subscription service featured on #WineStudio:
Le Metro. Wine. Underground.

Ready your Palate. Open your Mind!



Week 1 – February 4: Valpoli”what?” (discussion)
pronunciation, maps and grapes

Week 2 – February 11 (discussion and tasting)
the smooth-talking bianco and the “crazy” red “uncle”

I Campi di Flavio Prà, 2012 Soave Campo Vulcano Garganega | Trebbiano, Veneto Italy

Soave is a white wine produced alongside Valpolicella, although it has historically been cheapened by the perception that it is simply a Pinot Grigio substitute. Unbeknownst to many, the best wines from this area can express a deep and soulful minerality. Here, Campo Vulcano refers to the soil; these vines – some of which are forty years old – are planted on land that was once an underwater volcano.

Corte Gardoni, 2012 Bardolino Le Fontane Corvina | Rondinella, Veneto Italy

The Bardolino appellation represents the western border of the Valpolicella, along the shores of Lake Garda. The two regions share grape varieties among other things, but if Soave is a cousin to Valpolicella then Bardolino is the crazy uncle who refuses to grow up. Though the quality of these wines is often underrated, they are delicious. Light of body and soft of tannin, you may drink this whole bottle before you realize it’s gone.

Week 3 – February 18 (discussion and tasting)
forget what you think you know and just lean in

Marion, 2011 Valpolicella Classico Borgomarcellise Corvina | Rondinella | Croatina, Veneto Italy

Known for freshness, bright fruit, and dusty earth, this is what most people refer to when they say “Valpolicella.” However, Marion is extremely precocious. This wine – while it maintains Valpolicella Classico’s hallmark liveliness – is made from extremely ripe grapes that spend up to a year in small (previously used) casks of Slavonian oak. Though light on its feet, it can easily compete with the quality of many wineries’ higher-end bottlings.

Domìni Veneti, 2010 Ripasso Valpolicella Vigneti di Torbe Corvina | Corvinone | Rondinella, Veneto Italy

Commonly referred to as “Baby Amarone,” Ripasso Valpolicella is produced according to a unique process. Fresh Valpolicella Classico is soaked on the grape skins and solids that remain from the production of Amarone. The result is one of Italy’s most accessible wines: rich, dry, and complex, this crowd pleaser appeals to Italy geeks and Napa Cabernet lovers alike, all at an approachable price.

Week 4 – February 25 (discussion and tasting)
the ripe and the sweet

Vaona, 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Paverno Corvina | Corvinone | Rondinella | Molinara, Veneto Italy

Amarone is among the most sought-after wines in Italy. It is produced from the ripest grapes of each bunch, which are left to dry over the course of winter.  During the three to four months of drying the grapes lose roughly 30% of their water weight. When these raisins are pressed, the sugar content is high; the wine is fermented all the way to dryness, yet the dried fruit character lingers, imparting the illusion of sweetness.

Domenico Fraccaroli, 2008 Recioto della Valpolicella Grotta del Ninfeo Corvina | Rondinella | Molinara, Veneto Italy

This wine is made according to the same process as Amarone, but fermentation is ceased before all sugars have been fermented into alcohol. Yes – that means this wine is sweet. But Recioto defines what the Italians call vino di meditazione, or “meditation wine.” Recioto is a famous pairing for dark chocolate, and a wine that can age for decades.

#WineStudio –  Tuesday evenings 6pm pacific

Experience Le Metro’s wine zine, illustrated by Imbibe’s Person to Watch in 2014 Hawk Wakawaka

February is our last month with Le Metro – Wine. Underground. #WineStudio is now open for new sponsors!