Amerone Della Valpolicella is one of Italy’s classic wines and can be very expensive, but why?
Many wines in Italy are produced very cheaply by industrial means and whilst they may taste “OK” the better wines will be made using more traditional methods which take time. As we all know time is money so the more time put into producing a wine the more it is likely to cost.
Amerone can only be produced properly by certain time consuming methods. Firstly it can only be produced in the Veneto region of Italy and in a small area called Valpolicella. To make Amerone the Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grape varieties are used.
Many wines are made by harvesting and crushing the grapes straight away, not so with Amerone. Fruit destined to become Amarone takes quite a different journey before reaching the bottle.
Most wineries will select their older, more mature vines for this wine. Grapes are picked a bit later to ensure ripeness – usually in mid-October. Then, they are left all winter to dry into raisins.
It takes roughly 120 days for this to occur and the grapes will lose 30-40% of their weight. The result is intense concentration and a very high sugar content, which in turn translates into 15% or higher alcohol levels.
That means a lot more fruit, around twice as much,  goes into a bottle of Amarone than most other wines. The drying process also demands a large  investment of time and space on behalf of the winery. That costs money.