Amarone production levels growing at alarming rate

From “Quantity or Quality?”, Franco Ziliani’s article on Amarone and Valpolicella in the current issue of Decanter.

Back in the mid-1980s, even the most diehard optimist could never have imagined that less than 25 years later, Amarone della Valpolicella would have emerged as one of the trendiest wines on the Italian wine scene. Or that the Valpolicella zone would have shaken itself free from its state of semi-crisis and emerged from its provincial viticultural doldrums. Production of Amarone (and Recioto) rose from 1.5 million bottles in 1997 to almost 5 million in 2003 and 5.7 million in 2004. Estimates for the 2006 vintage are in the 8 million range, and for 2007 the estimated figure is in excess of 10 million bottles. Huge numbers of grapes have been put onto drying mats: the 8.2 million kilograms dried in 1997 had risen to a whopping 25.7 million just 10 years later. Those semi-dried grapes are a very large chunk of the 70 million kilos of grapes produced overall in Valpolicella. Far too many, in the eyes of some.

Click here to read the entire article.

The February 2009 issue of Decanter includes an “Italy” supplement, featuring articles on 2004 Barolo by Tom Maresca and Campanian whites by VinoWire contributor Tom Hyland.

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4 thoughts on “Amarone production levels growing at alarming rate

  1. I read Mr. Zilianis article yesterday in Decanter. This is the kind of wine article which I much too rarely am able to find! Critical, insightful and lifting me up to another level of understanding. Please, more of this kind! However, what I do miss is Mr. Zilianis own “list” of/or examples of producers/wines who at present manage to make “true” versions of Amarone (possibly in addition also for Ripasso and Valpolicella). Ideally, also the grounds for each choice should be given to establish a link between the general presentation and the list/examplespresentation. In the article another author present some of his favourites. In my view this is not satisfactory because it easily breaks the mentioned link between the general and the special!
    Would it be possible to present such a list Mr. Ziliani? Naturally also including Valpolicella and Ripasso since these styles also are mentioned in the article.

    Thank You!

  2. Mr Øksendal, thank you for your very kind words! I’ll give very soon the list of wine and wineries you ask. Saturday I’ll be in Verona for the 2005 Amarone della Valpolicella “Anteprima” wine tasting and I think to realise some articles, also for VinoWire about my impressions.
    Re 2004 my prefered Amarone della Valpolicella are the wines from Corte Rugolin, Tedeschi (the “normal” Amarone not the special selections), Monte del Fra, Antolini, Carlo Boscaini, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Cà la Bionda, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Santa Sofia, Tommasi, Massimino Venturini, but my prefered Amarone are the Amarone from Le Ragose winery, classic, traditional, very elegant and with a real sense of terroir

  3. Pingback: I could eat a horse (and I did in Legnaro, PD) « Do Bianchi

  4. Pingback: Ain’t we glad that we got ‘em: good times and Valpolicella « Do Bianchi

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