We were running late to our 11 AM appointment for a tour of Allegrini. When the BMW X5 roared past us on the way from the parking lot to the greeting room I mused about what a stressful time it must be for a winery with a harvest underway. Clearly the woman driving was in a hurry. It was true. She was Silvia Allegrini, also late and our guide. She is an owner, granddaughter of visionary founder Giovanni Allegrini and daughter of his eldest son, Walter, who died prematurely in 2003. There is a soul element to the way that Allegrini carries on its business and it really felt to us that the striving spirits of Giovanni and Walter permeates all aspects of the Allegrini story.
The tour began with a trip downstairs to the historical Allegrini wine cellar, where Silvia gave us an overview of the family history and described Allegrini’s prominent stake in three of Italy’s most important wine regions; Valpolicella – Amarone, Montalcino – Brunello and Bolgheri – Super Tuscan. (We were very surprised to learn that our favorite Super Tuscan, Sondraia is a product of Allegrini wine making.) We then trundled off the premises to a monstrous building that provides the space to dry Amarone grapes for 90 days prior to pressing. This facility is cooperatively owned and sits empty for over two-thirds of the year. We learned all about the danger of mold and the myriad hard-learned lessons.
We then set out to visit the hilltop LaGrola vineyard, which legend reports as the birth of the Corvina varietal that comprises the soul of Valpolicella Classico wines. Viewing the stony, chalky soil gives a good indication about the character of the LaGrola wine Allegrini makes with a unique blend of 80% Corvina and 20% Syrah grapes. The wine is stunning. Next we sauntered down the hill into Fumane and the Palazzo della Torre vineyard located adjacent to Villa della Torre, an amazing representation of the Italian Renaissance, which was purchased by Allegrini in 2008. We couldn’t have been more impressed.
The setting, the villa and the hospitality left us, quite frankly, stunned.If there had been a pallino set out with the eight ancient balls in the 450 year-old bocce court at the villa we may still be there.
We are customers for life.