Why investing in Amarone wines while on holiday in Verona
February 2023 Virginia and I, have been invited as everybody else from the wine business to the Amarone Opera Prima event in Verona, the annual showcase organized by Valpolicella Consortium.
This is not only the occasion to meet the 58 wine makers participating and to taste their 70 different Amarone wines (each producer can present a new and an old vintage to campare wine evolution) but also to know the ultimate analysis on Veneto region wine market and all the news about Valpolicella Appellation (the DOC).
It came as a surprise for us all the data Luca Zaia, Governor of Veneto Region, exposed to all the 600 participants to the official trade meeting that morning about the Valpolicella wine production:
“Over 2400 wineries including grape growers, winemakers and bottlers in a production area that extends over 19 municipalities in the province of Verona, from Valpolicella to the Verona city which holds the record for the largest urban vineyard in Italy, 8600 hectares of vineyards and a turnover of 600 million euros, more than half of which refer to the performance of Amarone. None of the less 350 of total farms are run by under 40 years old wine makers and 2.800 of the total 8.600 hectares are organic certified.”
With such a scenario no news Verona is hosting every year since 1967 Vinitaly – the biggest Wine trade Fair in EU and Appassimento process ( the technique of setting aside the Valpolicella grapes) has just been candidated as UNESCO intangible heritage.
The Amarone Opera Prima event exposed also the growing market of Amarone in the world, due certainly to exportation, but also to the outstanding last best vintages presented by the wine makers and already awarded by the main wine guides in the world.
In fact if on one side global warming is anticipating harvest season to early September now every year of the last decade, on the other is guaranteeing high quality clusters and consequently superb vintages. Thinking about the last 10 years, except 2014, we really have a multitude of 5 Stars + vintages on our shelfs. The 2013 is one of a kind, not mentioning the spectacular 2015 and 2016, 2017 is performing excellent now (in 2023) while 2018 maybe too young in this precise moment sounds more promising than 2017 in two more years. Please don’t forget this is a wine meant to be aged, and that’s precisely the point, maybe we should all invest more in wines such as these. Amarone, if stored correctly in the right position (lying down) and at the right temperature (NEVER more than 18 Celsius) has a long shelf life and is improving in character and flavour every year, especially if you like the intense, earthy notes of tobacco, coffe beans and dark chocolate.
So the purpose to buy a very young Amarone such as the last 2 vintages available now 2018 and 2019 would be pointless unless you love very fruity ones that might have also still a little aggressive acidity and tannins. Of course there are ready to drink young vintages among the many different Amarone produced but are also very rare and sometimes kind of mainstream, meant to fill big groceries shelfs all over the world ASAP.
There’s nothing wrong in answering fast to market needs but this is not artisan wine making anymore. Thant’s why after this Amarone focused event I suggest all the people attending our best seller Valpolicella 3 Wineries Tour to invest in the right vintages storing a few more years at least one or two bottles (you never know cork problems) while maybe drinking the others sooner in order to compare palate sensations and taste the magic of bottle aging process and its outstanding results. You’ll not be disappointed, I swear!