Giuseppe Quintarelli is a legendary estate located in the hills north of Verona in the heart of the Valpolicella appellation. It is regarded by many as the greatest of all Amarone producers, and is known for its traditional deep, complex wines packaged with distinctive handwritten labels. The great man Quintarelli himself, known as il Maestro del Veneto, died in 2012 aged 84 but the winery remains family-owned and managed.
The Amarone wines, the Recioto, and the Valpolicella Classico Superiore all have a similar blend of around 55 percent Corvina and Corvinone, 30 percent Rondinella, with the remaining 15 percent comprising of Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina and Sangiovese. The various wines are drawn from the across the entire vineyard, and require multiple passes at harvest time.
Quintarelli also makes an Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva, which is selected from the very best barrels of the generic Amarone, and a very rare 'Selezione Giuseppe Quintarelli' was made from a particularly extraordinary barrel selected by Guiseppe Quintarelli himself. Quintarelli's Amarones are only released in excellent vintages; in average years the wine is released as Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT.
Another cult wine, gaining some of the highest prices achieved by Italian wine, is the Alzero, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Again made only in the very best years, it is made from dried grapes like the Amarone.
In fact only one red wine, the Primofiore Veneto IGT, does not use dried grapes or the Ripasso technique. Winemaking across the range is unhurried; the top wines undergo 20 days of pre-ferment maceration for colour and tannin extraction, followed by slow fermentations and long periods of aging in large Slavonian oak barrels – up to eight years for the Amarone wines. Alzero is the exception being aged in barriques for two to three years followed by four years in larger Slavonian oak barrels.