What do you think of when you hear the phrase “cooperative wine”.
For many, it conjures up the idea of anonymous producers just grabbing grapes from all around a territory to create some sort of Frankenstein wine. For years, Italian wines produced by cooperatives had a bad reputation, at least when compared to the wines produced by individual producers.
But that perception has shifted in more recent years.
Today, we see cooperatives as collectives of individuals who all bring their own expertise to the table. We see them as opportunities for these titans of wine to share ideas, grapes, and philosophies in pursuit of the creation of wines that are perfect representations of their territories.
Today, wine cooperatives are so much more than they were a few decades ago.
There are many cooperatives in the Italian wine industry. However, there’s one in particular that we’d like to focus on – Domini Veneti.
Renowned for producing stunning examples of Amarone, which is the perfect wine for warming you up during the winter, Domini Veneti was one of the first wine cooperatives to actively buck the ideas we talked about at the beginning of this piece. In this article, we’re going to look at the history of the company and an example of one of the stellar wines that it has produced.
It all started in 1989.
That’s when Cantina Valpolicella Negrar made the decision to launch what it called an “articulated quality project”. Marketing language aside, the main concept was to bring together some of the biggest wine experts in the Valpolicella region to create a wine that could act as the perfect example of what the region’s terroir had to offer.
The work was painstaking.
This new cooperative poured hundreds of hours into locating and building agreements with the owners of suitable vineyards in the region to ensure they had access to the finest grapes for their wines. Extraordinary quality was the byword for this search and anything less than the best was passed over. This careful selection process resulted in the creation of several crus. But more importantly, it led to the creation of a wine that would become synonymous with the Domini Veneti brand. That first wine was the seed for a company that has since sprouted to the point where it offers a range of DOC, DOCG, and IGT wines for its territory.
But we can dig a little further back into history than that!
Take the name of the collection – Domini Veneti – as an example. This refers to a collection of territories that belonged to the Serenissima Republic of Venice back in the 16th century. The Valpolicella region was a crucial part of that ancient territory and it is this era of Italian history that inspired the people behind Domini Veneti to build the company that they now have. Their goal has always been to solidify the territory’s name in the annals of Italian history. And they do that through tireless dedication to producing wines that are perfectly representative of the territory.
Since its founding, the name Domini Veneti has become a byword for quality wines produced in the Valpolicella region. Its Amarone wines, in particular, represent a perfect example of the qualities of the land and the grapes that grow from it.
This is some achievement, especially given the fact that the region that Domini Veneti operates in has been classified as “Valpolicella Classica del vino” since 1968. This means the DOC paid early attention to the region and recognised that quality wines come from it. For Domini Veneti to make a name for itself, it needed to produce wines that not only lived up to the existing reputation but actually exceeded it.
The company does that by operating on what it calls a “double thread”.
The first thread is a deep respect for the historical values of the territory. Always with an eye to the past, Domini Veneti is determined to uphold the traditions of the territory and produce wines that are worthy of the Valpolicella region.
The second thread is a focus on the future. Like all great wine companies, Domini Veneti is not a group to rest on its laurels. Consistent innovation is one of the keys to its continued success, as we see with the focus on IGT wines, and the company has made many advancements in the production of Valpolicella’s most famous wines.
Domini Veneti operates with deep knowledge of the heritage that nature gave it and combines that with the collective expertise and ideas of a group of local wine experts who know how to make the most out of the grapes that are native to the region.
And believe us when we say that’s exactly what they did with the wine we’re about to profile. Allow us to introduce you to the…
Domini Veneti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016
Domini Veneti describes the Domini Veneti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico as its best-known product and there’s a good reason for that. No other wine that the collective produces exemplifies its philosophy of balancing tradition and innovation quite like this stunning Italian red wine.
The grapes used for this stunning Amarone all grow in the Valpolicella Classico zone and they undergo extensive drying for 18 months before finally being processed into wine. Once the Amarone enters the bottle, it stays there for a further 6 to 8 months to mature before it’s made available to the public.
You will see just how important that hard work is when you first pour a glass of this stunning wine.
The dense ruby red colouring draws you in like few others and the intense aromas that assault your nose will make you salivate for just one little taste. Notes of cherry and dried prune mingle with notes of dried flowers and spices to create an ethereal and endlessly tempting combination.
To the taste, the wine reveals itself to be as smooth as silk, with a full body that encourages exploration.
Our team loved every moment that it spent with this gorgeous wine, resulting in our rating of 92/100. And you can get it in the Xtrawine store today for less than €25!