We decided to start our Tuscany road trip (really an excuse to eat and drink our way through Italy) in the Valpolicella region, slightly north of Verona. The region is about a three and a half hour drive of Switzerland, and therefore actually easy to do for a weekend trip.
Valpolicella is a popular wine region in Italy, and famous for the Amarone Ripasso wines, my favorite! Probably the most well known wine house in the area is Masi, but there are loads more, and unknown vineyards around. We decided that is was probably the best place for us to start our wine feast in Italy.
We visited at the end of August, still in high season which means that accommodation was scarce. Luckily we managed to find accommodation in a beautiful, recently renovated B&B Corte Formigar. The B&B is located close to Sant’ Ambrogio della Valpolicella between the wine fields which a beautiful view. We booked the B&B straight through their own website, and Jessica, the owner, was extremely helpful, and even arranged a wine tasting and restaurant reservation in the area.
Soon after checking in we had to head over to our wine tasting of the evening at Corte Fornaledo. Corte Fornaldo is small fourth generation vineyard high up in the hills. It turned out that we were the only customers this evening and we had a great tour by Giacomo, one of the two brothers owning the vineyard, explaining us about the wine making process for Amarone. After a tour of the vineyard it was time to learn more about wines, and taste them of course!
Turns out that there are five main wines made in the Valpolicella area, ranging from an every day wine to Amarone and Recioto, a sweet, red desert wine. We got a good overview of the types of wine made in the region, and got to taste each of them together with a great selection of local cheeses and even homemade salami.
After a great tour and tasting, we set of with a nice collection of wine bottles for our collection at home!
On our way to the restaurant we passed a small church up the hill with amazing views over the entire valley. We were lucky to pass at sunset, allowing for some great pictures.
Finally we headed to a restaurant that was recommend by Jessica, Antica Osteria Valpolicella. The owner was extremely friendly, and we had our first encounter with the Italian kitchen in the form of beef cheeks in Valpolicella sauce and home made tartar.
After a great night sleep and the best breakfast of our entire holiday it was time for us to explore the city of Verona.
All our stops in the Valpolicella region:
B&B Corte Formigar, Via Formigar 4, Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, VR
Rooms are from 100 euros a night, and include an amazing home cooked breakfast.
Corte Fornaledo, Località Purano – Marano di Valpolicella Verona 37020 Italy
Corte Fornaledo offers two different types of tasting: a basic tasting for 10 euros, and a tasting for 15 euros, which includes local meat and cheeses. We had this tasting and can only highly recommend it.
Antica Osteria Valpolicella, Via Monti Lessini 33 37020 Loc. San Rocco, Marano della Valpolicella
Highly recommend the beef cheeks in Amarone sauce!