Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Valpolicella World As Seen by Olga Bussinello by Philip S. Kampe

Imagine the responsibilities of being the director of the Consortium for the Tutelage of Valpolicella Wines. Your responsibility is to be the voice of a region that has 19 municipalities, 114 companies, 2500 acres and produces 60 million bottles of wine.
                                                             Olga Bussinello

To be the voice of the winemakers, bottlers and producers of the region, only a dedicated person can take on the job effectively and live the life of Valpolicella as a lifestyle, day in and day out.

The person that lives and dreams the Valpolicella lifestyle is and has been for many years is Olga Bussinello, a woman whose blood is made up of the classic Valpolicella grape blend.

Her dedication to the Consorzio is unmatched.

Through the years I have seen the evolution of Olga Bussinello.

At my most recent encounter, her leadership and knowledge took center stage at the “Sustainable Winegrowing Summit 2018” in Verona, as well as her guidance with the release of the 2014 vintage at Anteprima Amarone.

Olga stressed the mantra, “RRR-Reduce, Respect, Retrench” in regard to the environmental sustainability and wealth of the land at the sustainable conference. She said that sustainability is the future communication for our wine and to communicate our DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) is another challenge for her and the 2347 grape growers, 7 cooperatives and 213 wine companies in Valpolicella,

Sales of Valpolicella wines are broken down in this order;
Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 45%
Valpolicella DOC 32%
Amarone DOC 22%

Olga elaborated on the 2017 harvest.
It was a good harvest-no hail, but, a lack of rain in both the spring and summer, which reduces the quantity of the grapes. Fortunately, analysis of the grapes is very positive. The 2017 batch has more sugar in the grape (higher alcohol) and more reservations, polyphenols and glycerin.

The wines that comprise Valpolicella generally have soft tannins, are well balanced and are very round on the palate. The majority of grapes used to produce Valpolicella are always an indigenous blend and are grown in three regions and thirteen valleys, each with a unique microclimate and soils ranging from limestone to volcanic.

Sounds like a lot going on , to you and me, in this region., but, with the leadership of Olga Bussinello there is nothing to worry about.

Look for the newest release, the 2014 Amarone DOC in your local wine shop, as well as the Valpolicella Ripasso DOC and the Valpolicella DOC.

After sampling any of these fine wines, you will understand why Olga Bussinello loves her job.

Philip S. Kampe

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