With the iconic event Anteprima Amarone, February has started in the best way possible in and around Verona. Last weekend, 53 wineries presented their last vintage of Amarone in the magical location of Palazzo della Gran Guardia. So what can we expect from 2016?
The aim of the Anteprima is to present the new vintage of Valpolicella’s king to two different targets: professionals and wine lovers. This is the reason why the event is a mix of seminars on the wine, focus on the market trends and walk around tastings. This year more than 2000 people attended it showing their interest in this new promising vintage. As far as the climate trends in 2016 is concerned, a perfect combination of cool temperature and sunny days made up the right conditions for the optimal ripening of the grapes. Thus resulting in a wine which is less powerful but much more elegant than vintage 2015.
The charm of the new Amarone is a result of different factors. First of all the climate, as already said, played a great role. Nevertheless, also the winemaking techniques -that so many wineries have been using over the last few years- have made a great difference. Low-temperature controlled fermentation, a slower aging process and the use of big barrels instead of barriques allow Amarone to be fresher, fruiter and very pleasant. A more tradional Amarone is therefore replacing the bolder and heavier ones, which were so beloved some years ago. Another interesting and recent trend is the way winegrowers work in the vineyards. Organic agriculture in Valpolicella has had an increase of 150% over the last few years, making the last vintage eco-friendly and sustainable too.
As you can probably imagine, we could not miss Anteprima. Even though wine tastings took up most of our time, we interviewed some of the 53 producers. Here are their opinions about vintage 2016:
Stella (hospitality manager at Gamba winery): 2016 was a very great vintage with perfect climate conditions both for the ripening of the grapes and the drying process. Our Amarone 2016 is a very promising wine, which will be even better after its evolution in time.
Noemi (founder of Le guaite di Noemi): This is one of the best vintages of the last 10 years. The Amarone 2016 is floral, fruity and flawless.
Caterina (hospitality manager at Le Bignele): 2016 was a good vintage, with mild temperature and without extreme temperature excursions. Our Amarone 2016 is still young, fresh and with a floral bouquet. It needs a slow aging to smooth its tannins perfectly and it will be ready for the market in 2022.
As you can see, producers have different views on vintage 2016, even though they agree that it was a good one. However, as you know, it is all a matter of personal taste. Would you like to have your own opinion on 2016? Then hop on a Pagus minivan for a Two Amarone wineries or a Three Amarone wineries tour and toast with us.