Durello is the most neglected among Verona wines, but also the one that has more potential and in recent years has shown more vitality.
Durello production area extends between the eastern side of Verona province and the western side of the city of Vicenza on the so called Pre-alps, the mountain range that extends between the Padana valley and the Dolomites. In Verona province these mountains are called Lessini, and the region is named after the mountains: Lessinia.
On the other side, the name of this wine originates from the name of the grape varietal with which it is made: Durella.
It is an ancient vine, few old manuscripts prove that a grape called Durasena (from the latin words durus acinus: hard berry) was already grown in the area in XIII century. In 1800s Durella was widely spread in Vicenza province.
The word Durella (translated from Italian, “little hard one”) clearly describes the characteristic of this grape: thick skin, high acidity, indomitable sourness.
These peculiarities of Durella grape is even more enhanced by the terroir in which vines luxuriantly grow. The eastern side of Lessini mountain range is mainly made of vulcanic soil, especially dark and hard basalt, that with its minerals also add a lot of sovoury to the wine made with Durella grape.
These characteristics are transferred to the wine made with Durella grape, that is a product that in the past has been quite hard to “manage”. There were not many consumers who liked this wine with high acidity and savoury and Durello wine was consumed only on local market, where it was often diluted with water, or used to blend with other wines that lacked acidity.
Modern oenology and the determination of local growers that refused to substitute Durella with the easiest Garganega or Chardonnay, succeeded in tranforming week points of Durello wine into a success.
First of all they understood how the high acidity and minerals content could grant Durello wine very long longevity creating a white wine that can rest in the cellar for ten or more years with extraordinary results. With long ageing Durello will get smoother, yet still crisp and fresh, developing aromas and very complex perfumes.
On the other hand, with a witty idea, they understood also how Durello, with its peculiarities, might have become and excellent base wine for classic method, champagne style wines. The second fermentation in bottle, especially if 24 or even 36 months long, balances the acidity of base wine giving Durello Metodo Classico an exceptional balance and aromas complexity. Sparkling Durello is becoming more and more popular, also thanks to a very good value for money, especially if compared to more famous French or Italian classic method wines.
Durello was registerd as a DOC appellation wine in 1987.
The most representative Monti Lessini Durello wine is now the sparling version. It is produced with a minimum of 85% Durella grapes that can be blended with small percentages with Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
A tour in wineries producing Durello wines is also the occasion to discover the whole territory of Lessinia and eastern Verona province, an area rich in history, tradition and delicious gourmet products: cherries, soppressa salami, Monte Veronese cheese and extra virgin olive oil.
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