Passito wines are made with grapes that have been dehydrated to concentrate their sugars and flavor components. It is believed that the Greeks developed this process to extend the shelf life of the wines since they result in a higher alcohol content. The drying process, known as “appassimento” in Italy, can be done by the traditional method of laying fully ripe grapes on straw mats under the sun, or by hanging bunches in ventilated rooms so they partially dry. It can take from several weeks to several months depending on the grape variety and style of wine desired.
In the northern region of Valpolicella in Veneto, Italy, this process is used to create sweet wines like Recioto della Valpolicella or dry wines like Amarone. Our contributing wineries Speri and Luigi Righetti harvest native grapes Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella to produce a classic passito Amarone, resulting in a dry, high alcohol wine with intense aromas of dates, prunes, and baking spices.
Author: Maytte Rivera