In praise of Valpolicella and Soave

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Both Valpolicella and Soave have an image problem not unlike that of Liebfraumilch. Too many weedy, cheap examples have undermined the reputation of these wines in the eyes of many wine drinkers, frustrating the intentions of serious producers. The increase in the vineyard area, and the consequent move away from hillside sites, when the DOCs were created in 1968 had the effect of catastrophic dilution. See the World Atlas of Wine map of the Veneto for the appellation boundaries.

That's why I decided to focus on these wines at a tasting of Italian wines in London earlier this year to...