ORIGINS

Amarone, is a typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina (45–95%), Rondinella (5–30%) and other approved red grape varieties (up to 25%). The name Amarone, in Italian, literally means “the Great Bitter”.

It is the third most-planted red grape in Italy.

Barolo Origins in Piedmont

AMARONE HISTORY

While the style of Amarone has existed in the region for centuries…

While the style of Amarone has existed in the region for centuries, The modern concept of Amarone has its roots in the early 1950s when producers “rediscovered” the style and began deliberately using yeast strains that could ferment the high levels of sugars in the wine completely into alcohol.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

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.

AMARONE   WINE

CHARACTERISTICS

Amarone is unique in the wine world. Typically very alcoholic, full-bodied and ripe-tasting wines are produced in very warm climate regions, where the grapes are able to build up large amounts of sugar while ripening on the vine.

Amarones are rich, full-bodied wines with flavour and aroma notes that are often compared to the flavour of Port wine. The wines often have notes of mocha, bitter-sweet dark chocolate, raisin, dried fig and earthy flavours. Well-made examples of Amarone from favourable vintages usually need about ten years of bottle aging for the flavours to mature, and have the potential to continue developing for twenty years or more.

FOOD AND WINE

Sommeliers will often recommend food and wine pairings for Amarone with hearty, heavy dishes such as meat roasts. A classic after-dinner assortment is Amarone paired with walnuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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