The 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.
There was a programme of visits and tasting at participating wineries in the first two days. This covered small family run businesses, co-ops and larger companies. There was ample chance to experience different wine styles, viticultural and vinification practices.
Amarone has driven the resurgence of the Valpolicella region and is now much in demand internationally. However, there is a trend to making truly distinctive quality wines in all categories. The local Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes define the region. However, other rare grapes such as Oseleta and Spigamonte are coming back in favour. 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. There is also 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.
Meanwhile, at the Anteprima, Consorzio President Christian Marchesini and his colleagues made interesting presentations. They demonstrated how Amarone had 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 considerable difference between the traditional and modern styles of Amarone. Both have their place in the market.
All 74 producers in the Consorzio participated. There was ample time to meet them, compare vintages and establish relationships. Naturally, I have discovered new as well as existing favourites! One of my favourite Amarone’s is Alteo by Fasoli Gino. Read about them here.
I hope there will be further collaboration between FIJEV and the Consorzio. With this in mind, here’s wishing the Consorzio buon vendemmia!