One of my favorite things about driving through Italian wine country, is seeing street signs that are also names of wine! Leaving the city of Verona, one faces intersections with signs for Valpolicella or Prosecco. There is no wrong turn!
For this week’s Italy Pic of the Day, we’ll take a turn towards Valpolicella, the most famous of Northern Italy’s Veneto wine regions.
Sant’Ambrogio the Door of Valpolicella
Today’s Italy Pic of the Day is a birds-eye view of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella aka “La Porta Della Valpolicella”. As the natural gateway to the Valpolicella wine region, it felt like the perfect way to kick off this week’s exploration.
Valpolicella Wine Region
Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) wine production. Valpolicella is famous for two types of wine. Valpolicella itself a bright, fruity red wine with aromas of blueberries and sour cherry and it’s more prestigious, powerful, and intensely flavored counterpart Amarone della Valpolicella.
The Valpolicella region has the tallest wine vines I’ve ever seen! Here’s a video of the vines from our trip.
In comparison, here’s a video of Prosecco vines also grown in the Veneto region.
Tall vine trunks lift grapes higher increasing airflow and sun exposure while low vines reduce exposure to the sun, providing more moderation for temperature variations. Fascinating stuff right. For wine lovers Valpolicella in a unique travel destination in Italy.
Now, if you’re not a wine lover, it’s fair to wonder, is Valpolicella worth visiting?
What to See in Valpolicella, Italy
In short, yes! The Valpolicella landscape might be sculpted by the vineyards, but the curves of the hills are graced by small villages with stone houses and centuries-old churches, hiking trails, Venetian villas and best of all countless Michelin restaurants.
Tomorrow, I’ll take you to the village of San Giorgio di Valpolicella. A small hilltop village famous for its beautiful Romanesque church and panoramic views that stretch all the way to Lago di Garda Italy’s largest lake!