Following the course of a Progno, one of the torrents that come down from Lessini Mountains, we arrive in Valpolicella. We go up along the hillsides, leaving the Verona’s Plain. While we go up the roads are more and more empty and it seems like being in a dream-like world, where we take the liberty of going slowly following a tractor loaded whit just harvested grape. The scent of must come whith us, then for a little time we no more smell it and then suddenly and pleasantly it wraps us again. We stop and admire the scenery surrounding us. Below the vineyards and more up the forests. In the middle of this green sea we see here and there small villages, ancient villas and still more ancient churches, naturalistic paths going from one hill to another.
The temperature is pleasant and the sun illuminating this splendid scenery pleasantly warms us. Continuing to go up chestnuts, mushrooms, mountain cheese attract our senses and make to think about which wines we could matching with these delicious foods that the nature spontaneously offers to us in autumn. The autumn in Valpolicella shows the true spirit of this land, therefore in the months of September and October we can see the vineyards to become animated and the ripe scented grape will be converted into wine. We will see also several thousands of little boxes filled whit precious grapes put to wither in “fruttai” in order to convert themselves into Recioto and Amarone. Over and over again during these months of grape harvest, the aromas of new wine will give us a feeling of large joy of senses and while curiously we wait for the wines that will be produced from the ripe juicy grapes of this autumn, we taste great wines produced in the previous harvest years.
Older women still today nostalgically remember the days when by mid-day in the countryside the peasants interrupted the work in order to pray. However in these times the countryside give yet and only nourishment. Today after long years of serious and persevering work passed standing by side of the husbands, these women can see their own sons to follow out a grape harvest from which are gotten quality wines whose value is very recognized by the connoisseurs. By this reason, even if these times are passed, in the vineyards of Valpolicella the grape harvest still today is carried out rigorously by hand. During the grape harvest the atmosphere almost look like a celebration and although every thing is made scrupulously, it is joked and it is worked with absolute serenity, with the awareness to continue following the track of a tradition that today is put into practice in wines of remarkable character.
We find again the same great attention in the moment to carry and to arrange inside the so-called “fruttai” the grapes destined to produce the renowned Amarone and Recioto of Valpolicella. Once inside the “fruttai” it will take care of the grapes with the maximum attention, in order to avoid the humidity stagnation and eventual moulds. Every day the grapes will be controlled visually and when necessary, the movement of the air will be carried out with fans. When the grapes very well will wither and will be sugary, in the middle of the winter the precious new wine will be extracted. So after fermentation and subsequent very long ripeness will become Amarone or Recioto of Valpolicella.