FIJEV at Anteprima Amarone, February 2016
In February 2016, FIJEV participated in the Anteprima Amarone for the first time. This event occurs annually, arranged by the Consorzio di Tutela Vini Valpolicella. Held for the thirteenth time in beautiful Verona, this featured the new 2012 Amarone vintage.
However, there was an opportunity to discover the Valpolicella region and its various wine styles.
A programme of visits and tasting at participating wineries occupied the first two days to show the diversity of Valpolicella wine production. Small family run businesses, co-ops and larger companies were all included. There was ample chance to experience different wine styles and see viticultural and vinification practices.
Amarone has driven the resurgence of the Valpolicella region and is now much in demand internationally. However, there is clearly a trend to making truly distinctive quality wines in all categories. As well as the local Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes, other rare grapes such as Oseleta and Spigamonte have been rediscovered. Meanwhile, considerable stylistic differences arise from using various winery and maturation techniques. Trends include a resurgence of traditional pergola vine training to respond to climate change and an increase in organic and biodynamic production.
The wineries without exception were keen to show their skills. Congratulations to the Consorzio for their excellent organisation.
Naturally, the highlight was the exciting anteprima event.
Consorzio President Christian Marchesini and his colleagues made fascinating presentations. They demonstrated how Amarone has reached iconic status, with 60% of production now exported worldwide. Other subjects included climate change, vintage variation, economic trends and new market opportunities.
Afterwards, I blind-tasted 78 Amarone’s from the 2012 vintage, assisted by an excellent Sommelier service. Many wines were still barrel samples and most won’t appear on our shelves for some years. Nevertheless, the high quality was evident. For me, there is a marked difference between the traditional and a more modern style of Amarone. Both have their place in the market.
All 74 producers in the Consorzio attended. There was ample time to meet them, compare vintages and establish relationships. Naturally, I have discovered new as well as existing favourites!
On this showing, I hope there will be further collaboration between FIJEV and the Consorzio. Here’s wishing the Consorzio buon vendemmia!