The appassimento process of Valpolicella wines

14 September 2023 - Senza categoria, Wine

Uncovering the Magic of Amarone: The Art of Appassimento

In the heart of the Valpolicella region in Italy, a winemaking technique has been perfected over centuries, resulting in one of the most renowned and cherished wines in the world – Amarone. At the core of this exceptional wine lies a unique process known as appassimento.

Appassimento, meaning “to dry” in Italian, is a meticulous method of grape drying that transforms the grapes into concentrated nuggets of flavor, sweetness, and intensity. The technique involves carefully selecting the ripest grapes, typically Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara varieties, and laying them out on straw mats or in well-ventilated rooms to dry for a period of time.


During this drying process, the grapes lose a significant amount of their moisture, which concentrates their natural sugars and flavors. The grapes become raisin-like, with wrinkled skins and a higher sugar content. This unique transformation sets the stage for the production of Amarone, a wine characterized by its full-bodied nature, rich flavors, and intense aromas.


Once the grapes have reached the desired level of dryness, they are gently pressed, and the resulting juice is fermented slowly over an extended period. This slow fermentation allows the wine to develop its unique characteristics, including its high alcohol content and complex flavors.


The appassimento technique is a labor-intensive process that requires patience, skill, and a deep understanding of the grapes’ behavior during the drying stage. It is a true art form that has been passed down through generations of winemakers in the Valpolicella region, each adding their own touch of expertise to the process.


The resulting Amarone wine is a masterpiece that captivates the senses. Its deep ruby color, accompanied by aromas of dried fruits, dark cherries, and spices, creates a sensory experience like no other. On the palate, Amarone delights with its velvety texture, luscious flavors, and a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity.


Amarone is a wine that demands attention and respect. It is best enjoyed on special occasions or paired with rich, flavorful dishes such as aged cheeses, game meats, or hearty stews. Its complexity and depth make it a true companion for indulgent moments and unforgettable gastronomic experiences.


In Valpolicella, the appassimento technique is more than just a winemaking process – it is a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and the unique terroir of the region. It is a testament to the dedication and passion of the winemakers who strive to create wines of exceptional quality and character.

So, the next time you raise a glass of Amarone, take a moment to appreciate the artistry behind its creation. Let the flavors transport you to the sun-drenched vineyards of Valpolicella, where the grapes are carefully dried to perfection, and the resulting wine tells a story of centuries-old winemaking heritage.


And don’t forget to book one of our amazing wine tours in Valpolicella!



With love,


Romeoadjulietguide team