Amarone della Valpolicella is an intensely flavored dry red wine made from dried (passito) grapes. It is made in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy, and is arguably the regions most prestigious red wine.
The amarone style developed as Venetos winemakers searched for a way to increase the body, complexity and alcohol content of their wines.
As demonstrated by modern-day reds Valpolicella and Garda, wines made from locally grown Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara can sometimes be too light to give satisfaction. These three mainstays of the Valpolicella vineyard are not renowned for their inherent depth (only Corvina is able to produce wines with much body), which is compounded by the cool growing conditions of western Veneto. In order to concentrate the natural sugars and aromatics in Valpolicella wines, local producers began drying their grapes after harvest, to remove water from the berries while retaining sweetness and flavor.
Amarone wines are some of Italy’s most well-known and sought after wines. The term “Amarone” not only refers to the region within Veneto where these wines are produced but also the methods that are used to make the wine. These methods were first produced by the Greeks in Italy and have been perfected over time.
Amarone Valpolicella wine, as it’s also known, is produced in the Veneto winemaking region of Italy. Winemakers there wanted to create a wine that was complex, full bodied, and a higher alcohol content. They accomplished this by drying the grapes.
Amarone wine grapes (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and other native varietals) are picked in mid-September before Botrytis has a chance to set in. The clusters of grapes are then dried out for three weeks to three months, and their sugar content is carefully monitored. The partially dried grapes are then used to create the wine, which is aged in barrels for approximately two years.