The why, the what and the how of...

Giuseppe Quintarelli

Known as ‘The Godfather of Amarone’ or ‘Maestro del Veneto’, Valpolicella would be a vastly different place without Quintarelli.

A mysterious and enigmatic perfectionist, Giuseppe was born in 1927, on the estate itself. Teaching himself to make wine, he took over from his father Silvio at the age of 23. Throughout his life he strived to improve and better the foundation laid down by his father. It wasn’t long before he was recognised as one of the truly great producers – not only in his region, but indeed in all of Italy. His passion, sense of tradition, family, and indeed his heart and soul makes every bottle of Quintarelli truly world-class.

Sadly, Guiseppe passed away in 2012 after 60 years at the helm, and his eldest daughter Fiorenza is now at the forefront of production of their 11 hectares. Her son, Francesco, reserved, understated, takes after his grandfather. Time stands still in this winery and modern high-tech gadgets are nowhere to be seen. This is echoed in the maturation. The Amarone typically sits in large Slavonian casks for seven to eight years before bottling. The respect for Guiseppe’s legacy is felt throughout the estate.

This is especially true of his family, who guard their heritage very closely. There can be no doubt that Guiseppe is looking down upon his vineyards, making sure his hard work is carried to the next generation. His widow Franca, son-in-law Giampaolo, daughter Fiorenza and grandsons Lorenzo and Francesco are all engrossed in their responsibility of carrying the Quintarelli legacy forward. Thanks to this strong sense of family, they can be sure that every single one of the 4,000 cases produced each year would make Giuseppe proud.

Giuseppe said it best, that to create a complex wine with depth you need “infinite patience that allows you to wait while the many phases of the maturation process take place. Tasks in the vineyard and cellar need to be performed slowly and methodically. Otherwise it’s best not to bother doing them at all.”

From the bright and inviting Bianco Secco, to the absolute benchmark Valpolicella (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella) that often supercedes the quality found in most Amarones in the region, to the Amarones produced according to the quality of harvest, to the superlative Recioto, the qualitative diversity within there is truly staggering. A bottle of Quintarelli seldom disappoints and all fine-wine lovers need to seek these wines out.

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