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Amarone Della Valpolicella

Amarone, the sovereign of Valpolicella

The undisputed lord of Valpolicella, Amarone is a rather recent wine, conceived with the need to create a less sugary alternative to a traditional Venetian wine, the Recioto. Never as in this case, we can say that the student has outdone the master in skill! It is made from a composition of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, autochthonous grapes that wither partially contributing to create structure, softness and alcohol content.

Did you know that really the origin of the Amarone is the result of an error?

Recioto and Amarone are not different in the blend, (in fact they are obtained from the same dried grapes) but in the type of fermentation, to be more precise we proceed step by step.

For both wines the grapes are first harvested, usually in the period of late September and early October and then dried naturally in crates, this process gives a more concentrated must that will give the wine its characteristic body.

A great experience is needed to bring the grapes, intended for this precious wine online, to the right level of withering: This is fundamental, so much so that someone has defined this phase as a second harvest. The grapes, healthy and perfectly ripe not only on the skin but also internally, are already selected at the time of harvest, in the first two weeks of October, choosing the sparse bunches, with grapes that are not too close together, so that air can circulate in between.

The withering lasts about 120 days and all the operations of drying grapes, vinification, aging and bottling, must be carried out in the DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) area. After the months of drying the grapes have a high sugar concentration that will give life to the classic structure of these wines.


What is then the difference between Amarone and Recioto?

The name of this wine does not leave too much room for imagination, within its name there is actually the word "bitter" that we can currently interpret with "dry", which serves to distinguish it from its sweeter brother from which it derives.

The difference between Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto consists in fermentation: While for Amarone the fermentation takes place until the the end, for the Recioto halfway through the fermentation period, this is interrupted obtaining a different wine suitable for desserts but less structured and alcoholic than Amarone.

You will wonder where is the error about which we wrote in the first few lines of the article ... well, around the 30s a winemaker forgot a cask of Recioto and left it to ferment longer than necessary, this period of fermentation not scheduled made that the yeasts present in the wine began to transform the sugary part into alcohol making the wine drier but this mistake gave life to one of the most loved Italian wines in the world.


Amarone di Valpolicella, its area and recommended pairings

The area of the designation extends from the lakeside of the Venetian side of Lake Garda to the foothills of the province of Verona almost to the borders of the province of Vicenza. This geographic area with a rather particular shape is composed of a varied landscape that alternates hilly stretches with wide valleys, the soil has complex characteristics (disaggregation of limestone, river deposits, basalts, etc....), characteristics that favour a flourishing growth of vines and positively accompany all the various stages of ripening of the grapes. For what concerns the climate, this area has characteristics that quite reflect a Mediterranean climate.

Amarone received in 2011 the D.O.C.G. recognition, or controlled and guaranteed designation of origin. This name has been a goal for Amarone producers in the area and guarantees to the end user, in addition to the genuineness of the production area, a determined and specific discipline in the production phases, this also guarantees strict controls and analysis before placing the product on the market.

In conclusion, we have a powerful red wine, round, overwhelming, which in some harvests can also reach 17 °, a real gustative hurricane that tastes of cherry, sweet spices, chocolate and leather, perfect with autumn and winter foods, such as braised meats, stews, roasts, especially wild game.

A great red that can accompany important dishes such as game and roast meats, and also to cured meats, aged cheeses and traditional dishes such as "pasta and fasoi" and even risotto all'Amarone.

Also drunk alone it is a worthy final of an evening meal or can be the companion of a pleasant meditation. A myth rightly entered in the short-list of the most important red wines of Italy and that, in a very short time, has conquered a place of honour abroad, above all thanks to its incomparable aging capacity.

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