Guiseppe Quintarrelli is a name that immediately transports you to Valpolicella (a stone’s throw from Negra), right in the heart of Amarone. An estate of legend and mystery, it has grown to become one of Italy’s finest. Finding the estate is not easy, due to the lack of any signage. We are sure this is strategic, to keep away the hordes that would otherwise be breaking down their door for an annual allocation. Once there, you are nestled in the hills, at one of Italy’s most drinkable addresses.
A bit of context: A mysterious and enigmatic perfectionist, Guiseppe 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 and his eldest daughter Florenza is now at the forefront of production. Her son, Francesco, is an excellent host and always looks after us. Reserved and understated, Francesco 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 Slovonian 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 Gianpaolo, daughter Florenza and grandsons Lorenzo and Francesca are all engrossed in their responsibility of carrying the Quintarrelli legacy forward. Thanks to this strong sense of family, they can be sure that every single one of the 4000 cases produced each year would make Guiseppe proud.
Guiseppe said it the 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.”