As with many history stories, it cannot be said with certainty whether it is true. But the story goes that one of Italy's greatest red wines was created by forgetfulness in the wine cellar. We are talking about Amarone della Valpolicella. A festive dinner wine. With the power and character of the Greek Amazons! -TEXT EVELIJN VAN HEUVEN | IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK
Like the discovery of the post-its, we can probably speak of a lucky accident with Amarone too. The wine cellar in question would have contained filled barrels for the purpose of making Recioto. Recioto is a wine made from parched grapes, where the farmer deliberately stops fermentation so that you end up with a sweet wine. Because the maker allegedly forgot about the barrels, fermentation started again and the last sugars were turned into alcohol. Is it a fable? Is it a fact? Either way, the result was to be welcomed: a strong, slightly bitter wine that was given the lovely name Amarone. A logical name, because amaro means 'bitter', a basic flavour still often found in wines.
Italy and wine have naturally gone together for a long time. In that light, Amarone can be called squeaky young, as this 'forgotten-barrel story' takes place in the late 1930s. You could call it a rapidly rising star, as in a relatively short time the wine managed to build a name for itself. From the 1950s, Amarone was first really marketed, and by 1968 it was already given the DOC quality seal.
Curious to find out more about Amarone della Valpolicella? You can read about it in the latest WINELIFE Magazine 80. Order this one here!
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