Valpolicella was already famous in the 1940s for its for its “appassimento” wines. Besides the everyday Valpolicella, a very traditional wine was produced which was very sweet but also extremely balanced: Recioto.. But the fermentation could be overdone sometimes and the sugars would all be turned into alcohol leaving behind in the barrel a dry wine, Amarone, still known today in the Verona dialect as Recioto Scapà or The Recioto that Got Away. It was a difficult wine to vinify, requiring time and winemaking expertise for it to be aged meaning that, to the detriment of its commercial potential, no-one had thought to bottle it.
It was, however, the favourite wine of Alberto Bolla who would always have some barrels of it in his private cellar,”Grandpa’s Cellar”, and which he would serve to friends and family on special occasions. His son, Giorgio, thus had the idea of giving a present to his father on his 80th birthday of something that would last over time, bottling this wine which needed at least three years to age and which he understood the commercial potential of.
Thanks to his skills and in-depth study of winemaking, he succeeded in giving the wine a precise identity, and was thus able to bottle the first 'Amarone del Nonno', vintage 1950. The wine was presented in Milan, on 13 April 1953, on the occasion of Alberto Bolla's 80th birthday, in the presence of the entire family, colleagues and important journalists.
This was the moment that Amarone became a prestigious wine, representing the excellence of winemaking in Verona throughout the world, and the name of Bolla becoming one with that of the appellation, which would only be established in 1968, when the first production regulations and establishment of the Doc were approved.