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Vertical Tasting: “Corte Vaona” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico from Novaia

A bottle of Novaia's "Corte Vaona" Amarone Classico

“Corte Vaona” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico from Novaia

There can hardly be a better way to understand a wine than to do a vertical tasting of it. Vintages that are different – or also vintages that are remarkably similar – permit insight into a wine’s development and character – particularly when the grapes come from the same place and have the same proportions, year after year.

So, naturally, I was thrilled to be able to do a mini-vertical tasting of this lovely Amarone from the Novaia estate. Marcello Vaona, the latest generation of the family to guide the estate, provided me with their current vintage, the widely-acclaimed 2015, as well as two others: 2008 and 2004.

For the tasting and the details, check out the video below! This is the first tasting video that I am publishing on my blog and on my own YouTube channel, and there are many more to come. But what a way to start!


The estate of Novaia is found in the Valpolicella Classico, the heartland of the appellation. Specifically, the estate and its seven hectares of vineyards are in the Marano valley, which is the middle valley of the three that, together with the commune of San Pietro in Cariano and Sant’ Ambrogio, comprise the Classico zone. The valley offers some of the only truly volcanic soils in Valpolicella – primarily tuff stone.

Founded by Marcello’s great-grandfather Paolo, the estate now works organically and sustainably thanks to Marcello and his cousin Christina.

The style of the wines is and has always been focused on elegance and drinkability, not on power and extraction. Freshness and a fine herbal character unite all of the wines produced here.

Corte Vaona

This is the estate’s . It is named for the barnyard that marks the family estate, which has been in family hands since the 19th century.  The grapes are selected from the vineyards by Marcello’s uncle, Cesare, and his father, Giampaolo – who is also the estate’s winemaker. The balance of grapes has remained the same sine 2004, when the estate first began including Oseleta in the blend. Currently, it consists of 50% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta. The wine is aged for 24 months in barrel before resting a minimum of eight months in bottle before release.

Check out Novaia’s website here!

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