We have been placing a focus on some of the newer breed of winemakers in recent weeks, so this time around we thought that we would look back a little further to one of the families that have been involved in the industry for centuries.
The Allegrini family is one such group, with their history almost rivalling that of the Antinori family and others in terms of how long they have been a part of the Italian wine industry. Here we will take a brief look at some of the family history, their vineyards and one of the best wines to be produced by the family in quite some time.
The Allegrini family has been a fixture in the history of the Fumane and Valpolicella regions for hundreds of years, with their own records tracing back to the 16th century and possibly beyond. While they are now very well known for their wine, the traditions of which have been passed down through the family from generation to generation, the family has also played a prominent role in the area beyond simply their winemaking exploits.
In particular, notarial records from that era indicate that the Allegrini family were one of the largest landowners in Fumane and Valpolicella, which means that they would have been a big part of the local economy and likely hired many of the people in the region to work on their land, both for the wine they produce and a host of other ventures.
This would likely have given the family a certain amount of political strength in the region, though certainly not on the level of the Antinori family and some of the other larger families in Italian history. Still, it is clear that the local community has been as valuable to the Allegrini family as they have been to it, with the family playing a large part in its development and their wines bringing a certain level of prestige that has allowed the region to stand out amongst many others.
A large part of the family’s success can be put down to the quality of their vineyards and the work that is done on them to ensure that the wines produced are of the highest standard. Palazzo Della Torre, which is located in the foothills of Fumane, is where the Allegrini family ply their trade, growing the grapes that go into their wines and taking advantage of the properties of the local land to ensure they are infused with a natural flavour that makes the wine instantly identifiable.
The vineyard is named after the famous Villa Della Torre, which it is adjacent too. This magnificent building has an important legacy, having been constructed as part of the Italian Renaissance movement, in addition to being an important part of the Allegrini Estate. It loom overs the vineyard and lends an extra sense of character to it, ensuring that anybody who visits is impressed with its magnificence.
The vineyards themselves extend to cover a large area of 26 hectares, which are elevated to an average altitude of 240m, creating the perfect conditions for the grapes that the family need in order to make their highest quality wines. The east-facing position of the vineyards also increases their exposure to the sun, ensuring that the crop gets everything that it needs to grow properly and thus produce wines of outstanding quality.
The Allegrini vineyards play host to three types of grape – Sangiovese, Corvina and Rondinella, with all of the vines having been planted between 1962 and 1989. Corvina and Rondinella, in particular, are grapes that reflect the region where they are grown and playa large part in the unique taste of the wines that are produced by the Allegrini family, with all three offering up the opportunity for experimentation and the creation of new blends.
In terms of growing, the family sticks to time-honoured and traditional techniques, making use of the trellis system, also known as Pergola Trentina, to allow them to make the most out of the land. This allows the family to grow about 3,000 vines per hectare, for an approximate total of 78,000 vines.
The family also terraces the area by making use of a traditional technique called ‘marogne,’ which is local to the region and can be seen in a lot of the rural architecture of the land in Fumane in particular.
Finally, the subsoil is composed primarily of marly limestone, which again adds a unique touch to the grapes that are grown in it. This soil encourages the concentration of sugars in the grapes, ensuring that they are maintained to the maximum level while also allowing for them to contain a high degree of acidity that makes them perfect for use in the creation of some truly stunning red wines. The Allegrini Corte Giara Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 is one such example.
This absolutely stunning red wine is the perfect example of what the Allegrini family brings to the table, offering a true reflection of the area in which it was grown, while also being of such a high quality that it can make a genuine case for being one of the best red wines in the country.
With an eye-catchingly intense ruby red colouring, that invites the drinker in and tempts them with the contents of the bottle, the wine makes an instant impression. To the nose it has notes of cherries and pepper, with the subtle aroma of officinal herbs complementing the fruits and spices that you will note at the beginning.
Once introduced to the palette you will enjoy a dry and very well-balanced wine that combines the acidity that the vineyard is known for with soft, fruity textures that truly make the wine an absolute joy to drink. Said fruits also contrast well with the acidic nature of the wine, creating a feisty drink that you will want to explore further.
As with many reds, it is best consumed alongside red meat, though it can be enjoyed with a wide variety of other dishes as well.