And what does that mean when it comes to wine? Look out for wines that are refreshing, zesty and relatively light bodied, especially when it comes to reds.
So I thought I would take you on a wine tasting tour or event better, an imaginary luxury holiday across Italy, highlighting some exceptional wines that will make your summer a lot more enjoyable!
The first wine that I would like to talk to you about is Prie Blanc. A local and rare white grape varietal found in the northern region of Valle D’ Aosta, right on the border with Switzerland. What makes this region unique from a wine perspective is that it boasts the highest vineyards in Europe. This produces dry whites with great acidity as well as delicacy resulting in some unique and fascinating wines. A truly mountain wine cultivated well over 1000 meters, this is a fine example of heroic viticulture. Because of the steepness and high altitude of the vineyards most grapes here are hand-picked which can be a tremendous challenge for most producers. The results however, are well worth it as these wines have the ability of magically transporting you to the top of a glacier: this is how fresh these wines can taste when you drink them; light in colour and in alcohol, pure and elegant at the same time. Any wine society should give these peculiar wines a go!
For the second wine, I would like to take you to the Bardolino area, in the heart of Lake Garda. Just 30 minutes drive from the center of Verona, there is a historic wine production area known for making easy drinking Rose. Its beautiful setting, combined with great climatic conditions, thanks to the proximity to the Lake, allow wines here to develop an interesting character. Bardolino Chiaretto is obtained by using a blend of local red grape such as Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara (the same used in the renowned Amarone wine) that have to age at least one year before release. The result is a wine with a fun bouquet of pretty floral and red fruit notes and has an interesting saline note thanks to its proximity to water. Just imagine yourself cruising on a private boat through the lake while enjoying the sunset and sipping on a glass of this great Rose…
For our last wine, we head to the historic region of Piemonte, known for being home to some of the world’s finest wines. I will not be talking to you about Barolo or Barbaresco which as you can imagine are the sort of wines you want to drink on a cold day next to a fireplace. I want to talk to you about a relatively undiscovered wine called Grignolino. Produced mainly on the charming hills of the Asti area, located north of the Barolo and Barbaresco area, it is a wine that stands almost between a rose and a red. Made with Grignolino grapes, a local varietal only found in Piemonte, it’s a wine that despite its light colour and relatively low alcohol content, it packs lots of acidity, tannins and an intriguing aromatic profile of dried flowers and spicy notes, with a touch of iron and a slightly bitter finish. Wines that are meant to be consumed young in order to enjoy their primary characteristics and ideally pair with a delicious local Vitello tonnato for the ultimate Piemontese summer experience.
Salute and alla prossima!
Filippo di Lenardo
Founder of Elite RetrEat Italia & The Italian Experiential Club
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