— About —


The Marion Farm, located in the unspoilt Marcellise valley east of Verona, is a small family run property managed by Stefano Campedelli, his wife Nicoletta and her brother Marco and their two sons. Acquired in the late 80’s the first task the Campedeli family set about to change was the over all vineyard health and lower yields all with the goal of improving overall fruit quality, during this period fruit was sold to local co-ops until 1993 when Stefano met Celestino Gaspari, under the guidance of the ex-cellar master at Guiseppe Quintarelli and current adviser to Romano dal Forno, Marion was born.

Starting with the 1996 vintage producing a mere 5 barrels Stefano & Celestino set about creating a unique expression that payed tribute to the massive potential of the region that was being explored by Marion’s contemporaries at the time. The 27ha property was originally planted with not only Corvina, Corvinone, Oseleta & Rondinella of which now account for 100% of the cepage of the Borgomarcelise, Valpolicella Superiore & Amarone but the also permitted blending varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Croatina & Teroldego. The Campedelli family decided these ‘blending’ varietals were not necessary and in fact detracted from what make Valpolicella unique, a sentiment shared by Gaspari, Quintarelli & Dalforno instead opting to express some of these varieties individually as well as creating a ‘field blend’ in the Calto and reserving the native varietals for their DOC & DOCG wines.

Marion only work with the fruit of their own vineyards, hand picking each parcel of vineyard and vinifying individually to allow each varietal to develop its own unique character before blending. Apassimento is utilised alongside more modern winemaking doctrines all focusing on purveying the purest expressions of their terroir. The wines all start life in large stainless steel fermenters before passing into 2800L-3000L seasoned Slavonian oak foudres where the wines will spend 3 years with out racking, only regular topping. The fruit destined for apassimento takes the same course but after meticulous inspection for imperfections graduates to purpose built drying rooms in the eves of the winery for 8-10 weeks. These wines remain separate until the final blend is assembled, after which the wines will spend 6 months in inox prior to bottling. No new oak is implemented at Marion, all wines used to season new barrels are sold to local co-ops.



Stefano Campedelli and his wife, Nicoletta Fornasa, were very happy to not only show their new releases during my recent visit, but to open a number of back-vintage wines, including ones that had never been written about within these pages before. This certainly piqued my interest, as Marion is a property that I’ve been following now for well over a decade, and I have witnessed the style slowly evolving into the wines of today. Looking back, these wines, and the way the vineyards were worked, were strongly influenced by Celestino Gaspari, a more modern-thinking disciple of Giuseppe Quintarelli, who is today the owner and winemaker of Zyme. There was a time when Campedelli was still learning his craft, and Gaspari was his guiding hand. However, the more bold and concentrated style that was created as a result never sat well with him. His vision was to make Valpolicella reds that were inspired by the likes of Burgundy and Barolo. Elegant, finessed, pure, low residual sugars and with the ability to be enjoyed both with or without meal; hence the style of the house today. The Marion winery and vineyards are located in Marcellise, outside of the Classico zone, on the hills east of Verona. One of the things that has set Marion apart from most other producers in Valpolicella, at least at this time, is that the vineyards are contiguous and located all around the winery. I say “at this time” because Campedelli has recently made a purchase of a small Clos of vines (another rarity in Valpolicella) in Illasi, a part of Valpolicella that’s located further east (think Dal Forno Romano). While he hasn’t decided upon how he’ll use this fruit, I can tell how excited he is about the new project. As for the recent showing of wines, they were spectacular. The 2017 Amarone, from a warm and dry vintage where many producers made hulking, sloppy wines, was instead lifted, fresh and remarkably pretty, as was the 2017 Valpolicella and Teroldego. While Campedelli speaks a lot about how much he detests warm vintages, he’s certainly mastered the ability to find balance from them. These are going to be thrilling wines from day one, yet also with medium-term cellar potential. That said, if you’re looking for a more structured and classic expression of the house, try to locate the 2016 Amarone, which has only gotten better since the last time I tasted it. Plainly stated, Marion is part of a handful of producers who are pushing the limits of progress in Valpolicella, and they are paving the way toward a brighter future.