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Appassimento Winemaking: Quite a Different Kind of Wine

on 04/05/13 at 8:57 am


imagesThe appassimento style of winemaking — using dried grapes — can produce wines of depth and complexity, but not always.

I first encountered the appassimento style of winemaking on a visit to producers of Amarone in the Veneto region of Italy in the mid 1990s.

Back then, wineries that used this process, which consists of drying the grapes on huge trays for four months or so before pressing them for wine, were fairly primitive.

Large open-walled sheds contained the wooden palettes and the grapes were subject to the whimsy of rainy and chilly days of the Italian winter.

Nowadays, many wineries have created temperature controlled rooms where the grapes dry, closed off from the weather, and more immune to molds.

The current Vintages release features a flock of appassimento wines vinified from dried grapes, which slowly shrivel as they dry, much like raisins. This concentrates colour, sugars and flavours.