Rex. The other great Amarone gem
There's one treasure at DalForno Romano that cannot be bottled.
Rex has been with the DalForno family since he was a pup, and seen a few harvests in his time. Only two-legged family members are allowed in the cellar, so Rex is that of guard dog, but one look into his deep brown eyes you see the yesteryear moments running around the property, making mischief, burying bones and generally enjoying his life on the farm.
A strictly outside dog, Rex sleeps on a custom wooden plank bed, his only heat source a self-made wooly fur coat to keep him warm through the rainy, windy, and sometimes sleety mornings of Ilassi.
Rex is also one of the kindest, sweetest dogs I have met. He adores attention and will raise his old weary bones from his resting place to slowly move his ancient body to you. Just to lean, to take a pat, have you plunge your friendly palm into his thicket of a well-worn coat and raise his gorgeous brown eyes to meet yours, to put his weathered, scarred nose into your hand to understand a piece of your history.
When I enquire of his age, winemaker Michele DalForno laughs and tells me "Rexxy is tired." Their loyal all companion has seen so much over the years, and I try to imagine what those eyes have witnessed. Like great old Amarone della Valpolicella he has aged from a hulking energetic brute to a retiring, complex and stunningly beautiful expression of his surrounds.