The 2023 harvest begins the last year of data collection of the scientific research on Valpolicella Superiore conducted by the Valpolicella Wine Consortium in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona.

An ambitious, meticulous and in-depth research project that the Valpolicella Wine Consortium, in collaboration with the University of Verona, has been carrying out since 2021 to outline what we could define as the production "guidelines" of the Valpolicella Superiore of the future. Identify the most successful style, analyze the current offer on the market, offer producers scientific bases that can guide them in the production choices of tomorrow, all with the aim of producing a Valpolicella Superiore capable not only of talking about terroir but also to intercept trends and tastes that are driving consumer preferences in Italy and abroad. These are the fundamental assets from which the research project conducted since 2021 by the Valpolicella Wine Consortium in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona begins and which will culminate with the last data collection starting from the current harvest. Objective: to provide an indication, on a scientific basis, of the styles that find the greatest consensus in today's commercial panorama.

The research carried out – says the President of the Consortium Christian Marchesiniwas born from the awareness that Valpolicella, in addition to the great structured wines such as Amarone, which derives from drying, and Valpolicella Ripasso, produced by a strengthening technique unique in the world , must also be able to deploy on the markets a reference that speaks loudly and clearly about the territory, a wine that is therefore the result of even important refinements but capable of making the most of the place of origin without technical interference. Hence the desire to put a magnifying glass on Valpolicella Superiore, in the awareness that this can be a modern wine, capable of playing a leading role in today's commercial panorama by intercepting a segment of consumers who prefer wine with lighter alcohol levels and with greater drinkability".

The research conducted by Prof. Maurizio Ugliano and his team from the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona moved in two directions: “On the one hand – says Prof. Ugliano – the Consortium has collected grape samples from many sites over the past two harvests which were vinified in the laboratory creating blends of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella combined together in different ways. The wines obtained were analyzed at a chemical and sensorial level to understand how the composition of the grapes and the type of blend, respectively the result of the characteristics of the different vineyards and the choices of the winemaker, characterize the wine. 2023 will be the last harvest of this three-year period of research which will close the data collection and which will allow us to publish the final data of this important journey in 2025.” The project simultaneously investigated the commercial panorama of Valpolicella Superiore to understand if the direction and conceptual purpose of the research was correct. “The Consortium also wanted to study the stylistics of the different Valpolicella Superiore on the market today and to this end 63 samples of wines were analyzed by the University, to characterize their aromatic composition in detail. In addition, however, these sixty-three samples were also entrusted to the expert tasting of a panel of international experts made up of opinion leaders, journalists, sommeliers and tasters convened in February 2023 in order to verify whether there were any styles that were more recurrent than others both on a alcoholic and structural. Overall, it was possible to identify some aromatic compounds characteristic of different styles existing among producers, which will allow in the future to define more precisely the importance of vineyard and cellar variables in the stylistic interpretation of Valpolicella Superiore.”

The results collected and systematized are very interesting and indicative as, from the analysis, it emerges that of the four main styles identified - slender, light, structured and powerful - the light and slender styles are those that have been most appreciated. The results of this part of the research were presented to the producers of Valpolicella Superiore during three evenings which took place in July 2023. "The message that was conveyed - says President Marchesini - is that from this analysis we must and we can draw valuable indications for the future, to be prepared in the face of what appears to be a growing trend not only on the national but also on the international scene. In fact, the analysis conducted tells us that wines with an alcohol content between 12.5 and 13 degrees, with lower structures in terms of extract, in which the hints of withering emerge to a lesser extent and in which the drinking capacity is on the contrary greater, they experience greater appreciation from others

of the consumer. This is a conclusion which, as noted by the speaker of the evenings, Wine Educator JC Viens, is also confirmed at an international level where it is increasingly evident that wines with this type of style are having an ever-increasing appeal."

For the publication of the final results of this impressive research work, the Consorzio Vini Valpolicella postpones it to 2025, the year in which the samplings of the last harvest now underway will also be analyzed and systematized and will allow us to have an exhaustive picture, with the hope of provide a valuable wealth of data made available to producers to better guide their production strategies.

The Consortium for the Protection of Valpolicella Wines is one of the partners of the European campaign “That's Amore – European lifestyle: taste wonderfood” , which aims to promote and encourage diffusion and knowledge on the Italian, German and Czech Republic markets certified products with high quality and food safety standards as well as being highly representative of the territory of origin and production. In addition to the wines protected by the Valpolicella Consortium such as Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Valpolicella DOC, Valpolicella Ripasso DOC and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG, the other protagonists of the campaign are some of the flagships of Made in Italy such as Asiago cheese DOP, Vialone Veronese PGI Nano Rice, Garda DOP extra virgin olive oil, Tergeste DOP extra virgin olive oil and Veneto DOP extra virgin olive oil, all varieties protected by the Verona Oil Producers Association