Our terriroty

The precious vineyards of Valpolicella, where in every season there is a mild Mediterranean climate

Vineyards are the most valuable assets of the Valentina Cubi estate. They are located between 290 and 350 metres above sea level and south/south-east oriented. They are mainly cultivated with ancient local varieties of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, which are included in the “Valpolicella” blend. The unique composition of our lands rich in soil skeleton bestows our fresh and elegant wines an exclusive character, featuring natural fruity and spiced notes.

Our vineyards include some international vine rows, such as Cabernet, Sangiovese and Croatina.
In order to make Valpolicella, Recioto and Amarone the authentic expression of our terroir, the wines obtained from these varieties are produced separately and labelled as “qb”. By an irony of fate this IGT wine is often considered entirely local, thus showing that the terroir outdoes the vineyards.

The Vineyards

The terraced vineyards are literally a stone’s throw away from Lake Garda. Cooling breezes from the Lake create ongoing ventilation in the vineyards, keeping fungal pressure low, while differences between day and night temperatures allow the grapes to retain their freshness while achieving full ripeness. The soils on these terraces contain a high rock content dispersed with clay, which has a water retaining capacity. Because of this an irrigation system is completely absent.

Casterna -the vineyard, 1ha and replanted in 1997, forms the back garden of the winery. At 170m it is the lowest part of the estate, and planted with Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone all guyot trained. It was one of Valentina Cubi’s first vineyards in which experiments with organic preparations were trialled. The space between the rows are permanently planted with cover crops to improve the soil’s aeration, stimulate the growth of bio organisms and attract insects which are the natural predators of most common vine diseases.

The soils are of ancient, alluvial origin and with a high calcareous clay content interspersed with gravel and sand, resulting in perfumed, fruit driven wines.

Monte Tenda – this Cru is situated on top of a hill and benefiting from the cool breezes coming from lake Garda, which is only 4 km away. The oldest part of the vineyard was planted in the 1973s with Rondinella, while Corvina was planted some 20 years ago.
Both are pergola trained, once considered unsuitable for quality grape growing. However, since the advent of climate change it has proved to cope much better with the irregular and hot weather pattern than guyot trained vines and it is capable of producing high quality grapes.

The soils of Monte Tenda are exceptionally rich in limestone and with a high rock content interspersed with sand. This soil type produces wines typified by freshness and elegance with minerally notes and a fine tannic core.

Monte Crosetta – this Cru’s soil structure is very similar to that of Monte Tenda. Situated at 260m, its soils consist of a high rock and limestone content. Planted about 20 years ago to Corvina it was one of the last vineyards with vines trained on pergola before this system was outlawed for new plantings.
But pergola, in combination with low yielding old vines, can to cope much better with the possible effects of climate change, and is much more adaptable to the vine’s needs than wire trained vineyards The horizontal canopy offers shade, while the free hanging bunches are continuously ventilated by the breezes coming from Lake Garda.

Rasso -the vineyard is situated at 290m, an altitude which guarantees permanent air movement. The first Corvina vines were planted 28 years ago to pergola, while later plantings were trained to guyot.
The Rasso vineyard’s soils are high in limestone and with a very stony skeleton appearing at the surface.

Grape Varieties

The estate’s vineyards are predominantly planted to the ancient local varieties Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and the very rare Negrara. Although all play their part in the blend that is Valpolicella, the first three undoubtedly put their biggest stamp on the wines. There are also some rows of international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah, which are complemented by Sangiovese and Croatina, which are strictly speaking not local.
However, to keep the Valpolicella, Recioto and Amarone as true an expression of the terroir, these varieties are vinified and bottled separately to create a wine called QB. Ironically enough this wine is often mistaken as through and through local, proving that, even in this case, the terroir has the upperhand over the grape varieties.

Corvina Veronese – Although Valpolicella is a blend of various indigenous grape varieties, it is especially Corvina, which makes up the very soul and backbone of the region’s wines. In the recent past the variety was dismissed as producing simple wines but this was due to the unreasonably high yields achieved from vineyards in flat areas more than anything else. In the right hands and with much lower yield Corvina can yield elegant, intense, fruit driven wines, which even have a capacity for ageing.
A late ripener, its deeply coloured bunches are elongated but at the same time quite compact. Corvina is harvested rather late too, at the end of September-beginning of October. The wines o are medium deep in colour, with succulent acidity and sweet tannins, while bottle age will bring out the mineral side of the Corvina.

Corvinone – Long considered a mutation of Corvina, because of its deceptively similar looking leaves, its bunches are less long, while its berry size is somewhat larger, hence the reason why it is named Corvinone. However, recent DNA research revealed it is a completely different variety altogether. Just as Corvina, it is a late budding grape and even later ripening than its once supposed sibling. It achieves the best results on hillsides, naturally restricting its vigour. It is rarely vinified on its own. Instead, its main characteristics – fine acidity, complex flavours and modest alcohol level- make it an ideal blending partner for Corvina.

Rondinella – The third of the classic Veronese varieties, Rondinella is the most profusive and easiest to cultivate. It is particularly disease resistant, and is less affected by drought, but its main asset is the high sugar content it accumulates in its berries, makin it extremely suitable for apassimento, the process in which the grapes are dried over several months, the resulting sweet juice vinifed into Recioto and the dry Amarone.