Amarone is a type of Italian wine that is made using a unique process with grapes that have been left to dry. The grapes used in Amarone are typically Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, which are grown in the Veneto region of Italy. After the grapes are harvested, they are laid out to dry for several months in a process known as appassimento. This concentrates their flavors and sugars, resulting in a wine that is rich, full-bodied and high in alcohol content.
Once the grapes have dried, they are crushed and fermented. The fermentation process can take several weeks to several months, and the resulting wine is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years before it is released. Amarone is known for its deep, complex flavors of dried fruit, chocolate, tobacco and leather, and it pairs well with hearty, flavorful dishes like red meat, game and aged cheeses.
Amarone is a special wine that requires careful attention to detail throughout the entire winemaking process, from the selection of grapes to the aging process. It is a luxurious wine that is often enjoyed on special occasions or paired with gourmet meals.
Valpolicella Ripasso is a type of Italian wine that is made through a unique process called “ripasso” which involves adding (re passing) pomace (the grape skins, seeds, and stems left over from making Amarone) to a batch of Valpolicella wine. This process is also known as “double fermentation,” as the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation after the addition of the pomace.
To make Valpolicella Ripasso, the wine is first fermented as normal, using fresh grapes. After the initial fermentation, the wine is transferred to a steel tank and the pomace from the Amarone grapes is added. This triggers a second fermentation, which can last anywhere from 10 to 15 days. During this time, the wine absorbs the flavors and aromas of the Amarone pomace, resulting in a more complex and intense wine. This wine is often referred to as a ‘Baby Amarone’.
Once the second fermentation is complete, the wine is aged for at least six months, although some varieties may be aged for several years to allow the flavours to fully develop. The resulting wine is typically ruby-red in colour, with notes of cherry, plum, and spice, and a smooth, velvety texture. It pairs well with a variety of foods, including red meat, game, and aged cheeses.