Giuseppe – ‘Bepi’ – Quintarelli (1927-2012) was the man who single-handedly changed the world’s perception of ‘Valpolicella’; having previously been known for cheap, thin wines made in vast bulk, Quintarelli championed the traditional Amarone and Recioto styles of the region’s wines, drying the grapes until they are almost raisins before pressing them into extraordinary, other-worldly reds. Few winemakers deserve as much credit for the rejuvenation of both a region and its styles – and yet he remained a humble, down-to-earth individual with a passion for his work. As well as the traditional styled Amarones and Reciotos (the latter being a super-sweet, dessert-style red) he also produces an intense, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon called Alzero. As is so often the case with these true artisans, the wines are release when deemed ‘ready’ rather than in a mechanical, vintage-by-vintage fashion. What is certain is that these are some of the most memorable and exciting wines from Italy.
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