Grapes are harvested ripe in the first two weeks of October…
Grapes are harvested ripe in the first two weeks of October, by carefully choosing bunches having fruits not too close to each other, to let the air flow. Grapes are allowed to dry, traditionally on straw mats. This concentrates the remaining sugars and flavours.
In Amarone, the quality of the grape skin is a primary concern as that component brings the tannins, colour and intensity of flavour to the wine. The process of desiccation not only concentrates the juices within the grape but also increases the skin contact of the grapes.
Grapes destined for Amarone are the last grapes to be harvested, getting as ripe as they can before mold and rot set in. The sugars in the grapes are then concentrated by a process of desiccation, where they are kept in special drying rooms for 120 days. During this time over a third of the water is removed as the grapes shrivel into raisins. This method produces more concentrated grapes that still maintain the acid balance of a cool-climate grape. Following drying, end of January/beginning of February, the grapes are crushed and go through a dry low temperature fermentation process which can last up to 30/50 days. After fermentation, the wine is then aged in barriques made from oak for several years, at least five.