Two of Italy’s great wine profiles have died: Gambelli and Quintarelli

Giulio Gambelli was one of Italy most famous oenologists. He worked almost all his life with the sangiovese grape i Tuscany. Giuseppe Quintarelli was a legendary wine producer in Valpolicella, sometimes called “the father of amarone”. Both died in January 2012. Åsa reports.

Giulio Gambelli is honoured by a special mention on the Consorzio Chianti Classico site for his work in the region and for his passion for the sangiovese grape. Gambelli was sometimes called Signor Sangiovese or Il Bicchierino (the small glass). Many wine producers in Tuscany were assisted by Gambelli to master the art of sangiovese.

View over the landscape in southern Tuscany

View over the landscape in southern Tuscany, copyright BKWine Photography

He was one of the first the really believe in the potential of the sangiovese and argued that it was perfectly capable of producing excellent wines on its own, without being blended with other grape varieties. During his long life he produced some seventy vintages of Tuscan wines.

Giuseppe Quintarelli is seen as “the father of amarone” and his wines, produced at the winery near Negrar in the heart of Valpolicella are legendary. Quintarelli was regarded as a “tradizionalista”, in other words a very traditional wine producer. He aged his amarone wine for seven years in the big Italian oak vats called botti. The labels on the bottles are hand painted. But he was also open to innovations and in his vineyards one can today find other grape varieties than the classic Valpolicella grapes (corvina, molinara, rondinella), for example cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo and croatina.

We had the occasion to taste one of the Quinaterelli wines on one of our BKWine Tours trips recently, a 2001 Amarone, and it was outstanding.

There have been many mentions in press and media, internet, social media etc of the passing of these two great Italian wine people. They will surely be missed by many, wine producers as well as wine lovers.

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