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Valpolicella, wonderful land of prestigious wines

History, art, and culture are the tickets to one of Italy’s most important winegrowing regions: the Veneto region.
Narrative, history, and art constitute a vital component of a unique area of the Veneto: Valpolicella. Art that here is closely linked with enology. It is not by chance that, according to some historians, the name Valpolicella means “valley of many wine cellars” (from the Greek polis meaning “many” and from the Latin cellae meaning “wine cellar”).
Grapevines, olives, and cherries are the leading crops in this countryside, spread throughout the fields, terraces, hills, courtyards, and small villages. Agriculture has always constituted an important chapter in the history of this area and still continues its major role here even now when industry and urbanization have begun to profoundly modify what was once known as “the garden of Verona”.
However, the myth of Valpolicella is not composed of just grapevines and marble. In ancient times, it was inhabited by a population known as the Arnusats. Starting from when the Romans settled in the valley, it has served as an important center of art and culture. Past centuries have left many testimonials. For example, archeological ruins of prehistoric villages can be seen in various places (Monte Sacchetto, Negarine, Ambrosan, Castelrotto, and Pedemonte). Significant traces of Roman colonization also abound, as witnessed by the foundations of Roman villas. The Christian period contributed important churches, such as those in San Giorgio and San Floriano. In later centuries, noble families discovered the pleasures of owning land in the countryside. This phenomenon gave rise to many admirable villas. Buildings with elegant and austere lines, or refined and sumptuous characteristics, greet one in parks and publics gardens celebrated for their beauty. Besides these striking villas, other aspects of local architecture are worth mentioning: roads made of local stone, old courtyards, and houses with walls of exposed stone. It is these scenes, and many others, which make Valpolicella truly unique. Whoever visits Valpolicella will find great pleasure in just discovering these matchless gems. This is a friendly area whose true wealth are the traditional festivals, local products, foods, and the warm hospitality and sincerity of its inhabitants. Geographically, the “classic” Valpolicella extends northwest from Verona like an open hand: the five fingers form four distinct valleys, through which pass cool breezes from the Lessini Mountains. These meet the warm breezes coming from Lake Garda, and give the area a unique climate, ideal for viticulture and for growing olives and cherries. The countryside is quite diverse, and can be divided into three zones: a flat, lower part of the valley that unites the villages bordering the Adige River; then the foothills and lower hills, which is the largest area, at elevations between 600-1500 feet, and a third area, ostly of mountains. The areas dedicated to viticulture are those of the historical zones (Fumane, Marano, Sant’Ambrogio, Negrar, and San Pietro in Cariano) in Valpolicella, all located in the foothills and hills at lower elevations. Among the numerous historic, artistic, and natural attractions, Valpolicella boasts two that are absolutely distinctive, luring thousands of visitors from around the globe: the Bridge of Veja and the Molina Waterfall. The Bridge of Veja is actually the entrance to a large cavern that collapsed due to erosion by water. A picturesque, natural rock arch was left by the collapse that occurred in a time that is geologically close to the present in an area of karst topography. Located in a small valley about 1800 feet above sea level, the arch is about 150 feet high, about 30 feet thick, and on average is about 50 feet wide. Underneath the mass of rock left by the collapse, there are two caves at the base of the bridge in which numerous artifacts dating to the Middle Paleolithic period have been found. Due to its striking appearance, the Bridge of Veja has inspired artists of many different generations. The painter Mantegna illustrated it in some of his paintings, and, according to several critics, in Dante’s description of the Malebolge, the infernal circle present in the Divine Comedy refers to this spectacular natural phenomenon. The Park of Molina Falls is just as spectacular. Located higher up in the Fumane valley, it cascades over different layers of limestone, the stream forming an impressive series of smaller waterfalls in the middle of a beautiful wood. The Molina Waterfalls Park is part of the larger Lessinia Park, which offers a network of trails that are well serviced and easily enjoyed. Its many visitors have the pleasure of discovering some of the most beautiful and characteristic areas of the region.
All of the trails in the park are safe and lead to deep gorges filled with turbulent waters and to placid lakes of still waters. The extraordinary variety of plants is an additional incentive to visit the Park, and there is a small botanical museum in Molina, a village with many water-driven mills and houses built of limestone. Ample space for picnics is available in the park, together with refreshment bars and resorts. All of this makes Molina the ideal place for an interesting and relaxing tourist trip.

WHERE TO FIND OUR WINES

Dove trovare i nostri vini
Gold Medal at Decanter World Wine Awards for our Ambrosan 2008
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The ratings of our wines on Bibenda
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Nicolis Winery has been awarded for its commitment to envinronmental sustainability
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Our wines rated from Luca Maroni
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Our Amarone Classico 2009 is recommended by Alison Napjus from Wine Spectator
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Our wines rated from James Suckling
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The ratings of our wines on Wine Spectator
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Super 3 Stelle from Veronelli for our Ambrosan 2008
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Nicolis Winery has been selected for the Bio&Dynamica area at Merano Wine Festival
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Our Amaroni make us continously proud also on Wein-Plus
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92 points for our Ambrosan 2008 on Wine & Spirits
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Our Ambrosan 2008 is recommended by Decanter
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Società Agricola Nicolis Angelo e Figli snc - Via Villa Girardi 29, S. Pietro in Cariano (VR) - Tel. 045 7701261 Fax 045 6800551 - info@vininicolis.com - P. Iva: 02195230236

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