Dal Forno Romano is a winery located in Veneto, one of Italy’s main winegrowing areas.

The Dal Forno Romano was founded in 1983 by Romano and is now run by his son Marco.
Over time, Dal Forno Romano has become a worldwide reference amongst collectors and conosseurs as one of the finest interpreter of the Valpolicella wines: Amarone, Valpolicella and Recioto.

Valpolicella is a wine area located north of Verona, extending 25 km from West to East and 12 km from North to South.
It is formed by a series of valleys rising from the Lessini Mountains to the north and descending to the south towards the plain.

Dal Forno Romano is located in Val d’Illasi, in the eastern part of the area, renowned for the production of innovative wines.

The Val d’Illasi takes its name from the Illasi river. The soil of this gentle and terraced slopes is of alluvial origin, with a mixture of gravel, silt, clay, and the presence of many fossils: clear traces left by the ancient presence of the sea.

The valley is exposed to the sun and very well ventilated. The air is fundamental not only for the quality of the grapes, but also for their good drying.

***da rivedere***

It is believed that the label name “Amarone” was coined by Adelino Lucchese in 1936.
In the 30s, Adelino Lucchese, vintner of “Cantina Sociale di Negrar” of Valpolicella completely forgot a barrel of Recioto Amaro and tasting it, he said surprised:

“This is not ‘amaro’ (trd.bitter), it is Amarone!”

The president of the newborn winery at the times, Gaetano Dall’Ora liked the wine, and decided to bottle it anyway, naming it Amarone Extra.

The first bottle with the name Amarone on the label, appeared few years later, in 1939. In 1953 started the production on a regular basis.

The first vintage of Amarone produced by Romano Dal Forno dates back to 1983.

  1. Vigna Figarolo
  2. Vigna Serè
  3. Vigna Castagnini
  4. Vigna Lodoletta
  5. Vigna Salgari
  6. Vigna Casa
  7. Vigna Campagnola
  8. Vigna Mezzomonte

34 hectares

18 of which owned

from 280 to 350

metres above sea level

The Dal Forno family had already been cultivating vineyards for generations. At the age of 22, Romano met Giuseppe Quintarelli, considered a maestro of Amarone: this encounter changed his vision of viticulture and oenology.

From 1983, Romano took over his family’s vineyards and began making his own wine with one single aim: to produce Valpolicella wines that could stand among the finest wines in the world.

At the time, Romano had very modest home
winemaking equipment. In the 1990’s, despite having little money, he took a leap of faith and built a state of the art winery.

During 40 years of work, Dal Forno Romano wines have achieved the highest awards and are considered among the best Italian wines.

Today, Marco continues his father’s work with the focus on uncompromising quality, from the vineyard to the bottle.

The family’s estate vineyards have slowly increased over the years, reaching 34 hectars, 18 of which owned. They are planted with Corvina, Croatina, Rondinella, and Oseleta.

Compared to many other Valpolicella producers, there is a very high density of vine planting (almost 13,000 per hectare) and a very low yield per single vine, in order to obtain a greater concentration of aromas and substances.

For Dal Forno, excellence is not just a goal, but a whole process that starts from the foundation: the vineyard.
Over time, Dal Forno has developed its own approach to understanding the health of the ecosystem, using biology, botany and entomology.

For example, the health of the vineyard is constantly monitored by analysing the composition of the soil and its respiration. At the same time, the health of insects and wild plants is analysed.

Biodiversity is a crucial indicator for understanding climate change and human impact on the environment.

“The vineyard is a book that you must read in its whole, not just in some parts.”

MARCO DAL FORNO

In summer, one green harvest is made, cutting the lower part of each bunch, which typically does not ripen as well as the upper part of the bunch.

The grape harvest is a time when the family gathers religiously in the vineyard. It begins with Croatina, then Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. Oseleta is the last variety to be harvested.

It is a job of high concentration.

Each berry is carefully checked and those that are either infected with botrytis or has any imperfection that would undermine the freshness of the wine, are removed.

The harvested grapes are brought to the cellar to dry. Here, Romano has developed a unique system for drying the grapes.

The drying room has several large fans placed on sliding tracks circulating air up and down the stacks of drying grapes.
The fans invert direction every 5 minutes, changing the direction of the airflow.

Grapes

for Valpolicella Superiore are left to dry for 1 month and a half, while those for Amarone are left for three months. The tendency in any case is to adapt the drying period to the vintage conditions.

A humidifier is not used, instead the windows are computer controlled, allowing air flow into the drying room as needed.
The wine-making process features many innovations. The tanks and the press are designed with a vacuum system. The objective of wine-making is freshness, and much attention is given to avoiding oxidation during the entire wine-making process.

No chemicals are used to clean the tanks, but they are steam-sterilised with an automated cleaning system that allows each tank to be reached and cleaned throughly.

In the cellar, Dal Forno has abandoned some traditional practices, replacing Slavonian oak barrels with 100% new French and American oak barriques.

The barrel room is 14 metres deep and maintains a constant humidity of 80% and 13 degrees Celsius.

Amarone and Valpolicella

are aged for 2 years in new oak.

Dal Forno Romano produces only three wines: Valpolicella, Amarone and, in special vintages, a Recioto called Vigna Serè.

The annual production of all the three wines is about 5,000 cases. Amarone and Valpolicella differ only in the age of the vines and the drying period of the grapes.

Dal Forno Romano’s Valpolicella differs from all the wines in its category because it is produced using almost the same process as Amarone. The grapes go through a light drying process that lasts about 1.5 months, half the time of Amarone. Moreover, compared to Amarone, the vines are on average younger (15 years old instead of 30 years). The other stages of vinification and barrel ageing are exactly the same for the two wines.

“Dal Forno Romano really should change the name of his Valpolicella Superiore. This is indeed an Amarone for all intents and purposes.”

ANTONIO GALLONI

APPELLATION \ Valpolicella Superiore DOC

VINE AGE \ Less than 10 years old

VINEYARD LOCATION, SOIL TYPE \ Val d’Illasi; Alluvial plains 70% gravel, 15% silt, 15% clay

BLEND \ 70% Corvina and Corvina Grossa; 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta

DRYING PERIOD \ 1.5 month

FERMENTATION \ Stainless steel; controlled temperature
around 28°C (82°F); 15 days of punchdowns and maceration

AGEING \ 24 months in new French & American oak; 48 months of bottle age

Amarone is distinguished from Valpolicella by its strength and elegance. The grapes come from vines between 15 and 30 years old and are dried for three months before fermentation.

Production is very limited and the wine is not necessarily produced every year, as in 2005, 2007 and 2014.

“Dal Forno Romano really should change the name of his Valpolicella Superiore. This is indeed an Amarone for all intents and purposes.”

ANTONIO GALLONI

APPELLATION \ Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG

VINE AGE \ Between 15-30 years old

VINEYARD LOCATION, SOIL TYPE \ Val d’Illasi; Alluvial plains 70% gravel, 15% silt, 15% clay

BLEND \ 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, 10% Croatina

DRYING PERIOD \ 3 month

FERMENTATION \ Stainless steel; controlled temperature around 28°C (82°F); 15 days of punchdowns and maceration; decanted into new French & American oak where slow fermentation continues for 18 months

AGEING \ 24 months in new oak; 48 months of bottle age

“Dal Forno’s wines throw so much at you at once, in machine-gun rapid-fire succession, you need extra time to recover from the whiplash, gather your thoughts and assess them correctly”

MONICA LARNER

Vigna Seré represents the winery’s flagship wine. It is produced only in the best vintages, and in very few bottles. The grapes are dried for 4 months before 36 months of bottle ageing.

Since the 2003 vintage, the wine has not been recognised as DOCG, so it has been labelled as Veneto IGT and called Vigna Seré – to identify it as one of the best dessert wines in the world.

“It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted”

ANTONIO GALLONI

VINE AGE \ More than 15 years old VINEYARD LOCATION, SOIL TYPE \ Town of Tregnago; vineyard sits 1,150 feet above sea level; clay and limestone BLEND \ 55% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 20% Croatina, 10% Oseleta DRYING PERIOD \ 4 month FERMENTATION \ Stainless steel; controlled temperature around 28°C (82°F); 15 days of punchdowns and maceration AGEING \ 36 months in new French & American oak; minimum 24 months of bottle age

“It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted”

MONICA LARNER

Dal Forno Romano is a winery located in Veneto, one of Italy’s main winegrowing areas.

The Valpolicella Terroir

The Vineyards