Domini Veneti, the well dressed export manager for this impressive cooperative, greets us outside the gorgeous winery on a beautiful sunny day.
This winery had been built in 1952, though it was created by only six producers in 1933. Today they produce more than 7 million bottles.
Mr. Veneti is an expert guide as he takes us to the very height of the building, where the grapes for Amarone are drying. He very carefully explains the process of how the grapes dry for 100 days, losing moisture, so they will add richness and flavor to the finished Amarone product.
A tasting follows the extensive tour.
Bardolino Rose 2016 – tea rose note, strawberry and nectarine fruit, lively acidity, strawberries, 2 hour maceration, 12.5% abv
Bardolino 2016, 12.5% abv, 5 g RS, vinous, some hints of violet dark fruit, soft tannins
Valpolicella Classico 2016 – Corvina, Corvionne, Molinara are in this blend, with 13% abv, a maceration of 7 days — it is spicier than Bardolina, more ruby colored, with spicy red cherry from Corvina.
Ripasso 2014 darker, a purple violet color from passing through the lees of the Amarone, it had a 2 week maceration the rested 18 months on skins.
Amarone 2013 – dried cherry, slight pleasant bitter amaro character15.5% abv – it had 1 month maceration on skins for color and tannin, then skin 2 years barrels, six months bottle
Recioto – a dessert wine made like Amarone, 120 days drying, then shorter maceration than Amarone and a quick 1 week fermentation. There is 130 g/L of residual sugar here, but hard to taste it because of the acidity. It spends 6 months maturing in 225 burgundy barrels.
Finally, we have a surprise in a sparkling Recioto which had great chocolate overtones and incredibly delicious.
Many thanks to Mr. Veneti and Cantina di Negrar for a great tour and a delicious lunch.