An ancient technique
The historic technique of semi-drying the grapes (“appassimento”), which was known even before the time of the Ancient Romans, (Rhetico was produced by the Arusnati, an Etruscan tribe) is a method that is peculiar to the Valpolicella region and is fundamental for producing some of the zone’s typical wines, such as Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella.
This practice allows the grapes to become dehydrated and attain a very high concentration of their sugars; at the same time, important bio-physical variations take place within the berries, which then confer all the unique scents and aromas that are typical of these wines.
Appassimento: from the vineyard to the drying loft
The process begins in the vineyard, with specialist workers who can recognize, select and pick the most loosely-packed and healthy bunches, and then lay them in small crates that are subsequently placed in the drying loft.
The grapes remain in this environment, where the humidity and temperature are kept under constant control, for about 100-120 days, until they are pressed and fermented; the resulting wine matures in barrels, completing the cycle whereby these special grapes are transformed into products of great interest: Amarone and Recioto.