Valpolicella Consortium, the authority that regulates the production of Amarone and other DOC and DOCG wines in the area, authorized wineries to squeeze dried grapes starting from November 15th, long before the 4 months that are usually the minimum requirement. Grapes had already lost more than 40% of their water content and sugars were highly concentrated.
Nevertheless, few wineries preferred to leave grapes on racks even longer. By doing this they can obtain even more concentrated wines and have more aromatic substances in the berries. A recent study by Verona university highlighted how the drying of Corvina, the most important grape varietal in the blend of Valpolicella wines, it is not just a simple dehydration, but triggers bio-chemical activities that enriches the aromatic complexity of resulting wines.
Among these wineries was Bertani, one of the oldest and most traditional cellars in Valpolicella. The last few bunches of Amarone grapes were collected from the drying racks made of river reeds only few days ago.
By now they have been squeezed and the must is now slowly fermenting in stainless fermentation vets.
Due to the exceptionally good weather conditions, Amarone 2011 vintage will be one of the best in recent years. First bottles will be released on the market in 2014 even if, those wineries following traditional method like Bertani, will start selling their wines in 6-7 years.
Every time of the year is good for a wine tour in Valpolicella. In every season you will have the chance to experience a different activity and a different step in the production of Amarone and other Valpolicella wine. Do not hesitate to contact us for further information on Valpolicella tours from Verona or other cities in northern Italy.