When I was invited to lunch to taste the Amarone from Marchesi Fumanelli, little did I know that I was going to have lunch with possibly the most interesting man in wine. Armando Fumanelli is the owner of Marchesi Fumanelli, located in the heart of the the Valpolicella Classico in Northeast Italy (northwest of Verona).
Armando walked into the restaurant where we were seated at a table of women. This tall, distinguished gentleman walked to our table and introduced himself. He was so modest and friendly but we were about to find out how extraordinary he is.
Located in the Northeast of Italy is the Veneto Region, famous for the canals of Venice, the architecture of Palladio and the home of Romeo and Juliet. Comprised of seven provinces, five of them produce wine: Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and Venice. The Veneto Region is also responsible for producing 20% of all Italian D.O.C. wines. In fact, there are a total of 25 D.O.C. wines and 11 D.O.C.G. wines from within the Veneto region.
The province of Verona is where some of the more recognized wines come from, including Soave, Valpolicella and Amarone.
The Soave area is the largest in Europe, with 6,500 hectares planted. Made with at least 65% Garganega and up to 30% Trebbiano di Soave, Soave is a fragrant, fresh, medium bodied wine.
Valpolicella is the name of the area made up of three valleys crossed by the Negrar, Marano and Fumane rivers. Valpolicella is made with the varietals Rondinella, Molinara, and Covina and produce a fruity and acidic medium-body red wine.