Description 1 of 1
Name of varietal: Rondinella
Parentage of the grape: mutation of Corvina
History of the grape: There are 6th century written documents by Cassiodoro, a magistrate of Visigoth King Theodorus, describing a sweet wine made from half dried grapes in Verona that is mostly likely an early version of Amarone or Recioto made from Rondinella and its blending partners Corvina and Molinara. “Straw wine,” the process used to make these wines by drying grapes on straw mats before pressing, is a style of wine-making that was passed on from the ancient Greeks. In 643 Lombard King Rotari wrote an edict protecting Rondinella and other local grapes from being pulled. Venice became a center of trade during the Byzantine Empire, and Valpolicella (a name that is a likely combination of ancient Greek and Latin meaning “wine from many cellars”) wines made with Rondinella and its sidekicks became a popular export. But subsequent trade embargoes with the Ottomans forced local wine-makers to broaden the scope of local viticulture. Rondinella plantings managed to overcome the 19th century Phylloxera crisis fairly quickly and production of the grape continued, though more often in the style of Bardolino, which has Rossignola added to the same grape blend as Amarone and Valpolicella, but is not made from dried grapes. The Amarone process gained resurgence in the 1950s and today, Amarone and Recioto are some of the most sought after wines in the world.
Characteristics of the grape: Neutral flavors, but very easy to grow, which is why it is cultivated so widely in the Veneto. Used primarily as a blending grape, almost never a varietal release, to add body.
Regions where the grape is currently important: Veneto, Italy
Type or types of wines the grape produces: Amarone, Recioto, Valpolicella, Bardolino, sweet sparkling (all red blends)
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