The Protected Geographical Indication "Nano Vialone Veronese" refers only to rice obtained from seeds rigorously selected from the japonica species of the Vialone Nano variety.
The genuineness of variety, the methods used for cultivation, processing and presenting this rice to the consumer are controlled by the Consorzio per la Tutela del Riso Vialone Nano Veronese (Consortium for the Protection of Vialone Nano Veronese Rice), wich groups together producers that comply with production specifications approved and registered by the European Union.
These require cultivation to take place on land left to "rest" with crop rotation. Parasites are fought with good crop-growing techniques which contemplate, among other things, special land preparation and careful regulation of waters in the paddy fields. Fertilisation, balanced with a contribution of organic matter, must aim at producing healthy and ripe grains and maximum production must not exceed 70 quintals per acre. "Riso Nano Vialone Veronese", protected by the European mark I.G.P., must present the following characteristics to the consumer: the grain must be medium-large, rounded and semi-long, with protruding tooth, a solid head and a rounded cross-section. It must be white, with no stripe and have an extended centre "pearl". In addition to the above varietal characteristics, I.G.P. Nano Vialone Veronese Rice must have the following physical-chemical parameters:
No less than 15 minutes
No less than 0,85 kg/sq.cm
No more than 2,5 g/cm
These production parameters guarantee the genuineness, fragrance and optimum gastronomic yield of I.G.P. "Riso Nano Vialone Veronese"
Karst spring and spring waters emerge plentiful in the area of the Veronese plain where Riso Nano Vialone Veronese I.G.P. is grown and this draws its prestigious qualities from the purity of these waters. They run continuously, furrowing and soaking rich soil, mixed with lime and sand. These waters are vital for the paddy fields which they flood. Seeds germinate in these limpid waters and it is here that young plants find protection from the cold spring nights. The rice grower uses his know-how to regulate their flow to support the phases of growth...
This area covers the territories of the following municipalities in the province of Verona:
Bovolone, Buttapietra, Casaleone, Cerea, Concamarise, Erbè, Gazzo Veronese, Isola della Scala, Isola Rizza, Mozzecane, Nogara, Nogarole Rocca, Oppeano, Palù, Povegliano Veronese, Ronco All’Adige, Roverchiara, Salizzole, Sanguinetto, San Pietro di Morubio, Sorgà, Trevenzuolo, Vigasio, Zevio.
At the beginning of spring, rice-growers prepare their fields to plant Vialone Nano rice. The seed bed must be perfectly level so that water can flood these evenly. With fertilisation, backed up with organic matter, the fertile soil of the Verona area receives all the nutrients it requires. It is ploughed and harrowed to oxygenate it. The straight furrows are ready to receive water. Karst spring water gushes into the wide fields, where seeds germinate under water, protected from the inclement spring nights. However, after a few days the water is removed from the paddy field to allow the young plant to anchor itself firmly in the soil. From this moment growers use their know-how to flood the fields and remove water from them depending on the various stages of crop growth, interpreting their requirements according to weather conditions. Dry periods are also useful to kill off algae and harmful insects.
Well into the summer the "Riso Nano Vialone Veronese" plants reach their maximum height and the inflorescences which preclude fecundation appear on the fertile culms. From now on the ripening phase is in progress. At the end of August the Nano Vialone ears already have a turgid and golden appearance. In favourable weather conditions they will be perfectly ripe in at the end of September. Choosing the right moment for harvesting is important in I.G.P. production, If threshed too the grains are still green and if threshed too late broken grains are obtained.
The production specifications for I.G.P. Nano Vialone Veronese rice contemplate a minimum imperfection tolerance of only 3% of the total product: each grain must be perfect, healthy and ripe.
In early autumn combine harvesters are brought into the fields to cut the stems, collect the panicles and remove the grains with extreme rapidity. After accurate drying, the unrefined rice, known as the paddy, is transferred to the warehouses to be processed.