The Corvina grape is the dominant red variety of Italy’s Veneto region, where it’s used to make bright, fruity Bardolino and velvety, cherry-scented Valpolicella wines.
In contrast to these relatively light-bodied wines, Corvina grapes are also used in the production of muscular Amarone wines. Amarone is made using the appassimento method, in which the grapes are dried for three months or more before being pressed, resulting in a highly concentrated juice that is vinified into dry, high-alcohol wine.
Corvina produces light to medium body wines with a light crimson coloring. The grapes’ naturally high acidity can make the wine somewhat tart with a slight, bitter almond note. The finish is sometimes marked with sour-cherry notes. In some regions of Valpolicella, producers are using barrel aging to add more structure and complexity to the wine. The small berries of Corvina are low in tannins and color extract but have thick skins that are ideal for drying and protecting the grape from rot.