The Wine: Il Valpolicella 2017
Societa' Agricola Il Sasso Il Valpolicella is a red natural wine from Veneto, Northern Italy, made from Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella indigenous grape varietals farmed biodynamically. The grapes are grown on limestone soils. Il Valpolicella is fermented spontaneously with native yeasts, aged in stainless steel vats, unfined, and unfiltered.
The Winery: Societa' Agricola il Sasso
Societa' Agricola il Sasso is the brainchild of Stefano Bellamoli, a young vigneron working with Valpolicella indigenous varietals Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. The estate is located in Negrar, in the heart of Valpolicella Classica - their only wine, "Il Valpolicella" falls into the Valpolicella Classico DOC denomination. Farming at Agricola il Sasso is organic and no chemicals are used in the cellar with the exception of a small amount of So2 at bottling. As Stefano puts it, Il Valpolicella is wine made in the vineyard, not in the cellar.
The Region: Veneto
Veneto is one of the most important wine regions of Italy, located in the North Eastern corner of the Italian peninsula. It borders with Trentino-Alto Adige (north), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (north-east), Emilia-Romagna (south), and Lombardy (west).
The capital of Veneto is Venice, which is also its most populous city, followed by Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, and Rovigo. The east coast of Lake Garda, the biggest Italian lake, is part of Veneto and so is the tract of Alpine foothills called Venetian Prealps.
Veneto is the leading Italian region for the quantity of wine produced – even though wine-producing regions such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia, and Sicily all have bigger territories.
Some of its most famous wines are Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Soave, and of course Prosecco. Other less known but equally delicious wines are Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto di Gambellara, Raboso del Piave, and Bardolino.
Veneto’s main characteristic is perhaps the great variety of wine types produced, obtained mostly from indigenous grape varietals – Corvina, Glera, and Garganega being the most common.
This is due as much to its specific geography and climate as it is to rather peculiar winemaking techniques such as the grape drying technique employed to make Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto’s most famous red wine.