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The Grapes of the Valpolicella

The Grapes of the Valpolicella: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Croatina

In the past, the Corvina was defined as the queen of the grapes from the Verona area, and is in widespread cultivation. It is a vigorous variety and is resistant to cold and various diseases. It grows in a semi-erect manner and has medium sized, pentagonal shaped leaves. The grape bunches are cylindrical, of medium size, are pyramid shaped and winged. The grapes themselves have a blue-black color. It matures around the end of September or the beginning of October and prefers soils that are alluvial, morainal, preferably located in the hills, and well ventilated. It gives color and body to wines that are made from it. The scent it gives is initially floral scented, but slowly becomes more fruity.
The Rondinella variety gives rosy and a spiced perfume to wines. It is also a hearty variety and resists cold and disease. It is somewhat sensitive to insects and to cryptogamic diseases. It grows well in just about any soil. The leaves are medium sized, and the bunches are rather cylindrical, loosely-packed, with round, black, violet colored grapes.
The Molinara variety is more sensitive to cold winter temperatures. The best soils for its cultivation are in the lower hills, exposed to the sun, ventilated, and dry. The leaves are medium sized and elongated, while the bunches are cylindrical and winged. The grapes are rounded and have a reddish-violet color. This variety provides comlex flavors to a wine, as well as a slightly bittering note.
The origins of Croatina are in the second half of the 9th century. It may be present since Middle Age. Its good resistance to diseases helped the diffusion. The leaves are medium-small, elongated and pentagonal; the bunches are big, conical and elongated, middle compact; grapes are middle sized, round and regular shaped with an intense blue-black thick hard skin, well covered with bloom. Grows well in deep, slimy, clay and calcareous soils.

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