Save the Amarone


************************************************Here is something worthwhile happening in the wine business: Amarone families fight back. Amarone is a wine that by nature requires a good deal of care in the wine making process and even the average bottle is likely to provide a unique experience. The common practice of fermenting whatever grape and bottling it to the market creates trends in all consumer markets including the supermarkets and even more basic places. The fight over selling wines at any price to clear the shelves makes the quality of wine such an insignificant issue that most wines can be priced down to move off the shelf. The good wine can be endangered because of this marketing practice. Everything comes down to surviving the hardships of making the trip from the vineyard to the retail shelf which can be as little as a few months. If the winning element is how low the price can go, tradition, style and quality can be sacrificed. Mass market products such as New World wines have specific qualities that push hard-to-make wines back in the market because how the former is made demands a high base price. Reduction of wine to the level of a packaged supermarket product leads to the destruction of wines of great tradition to be saved and resurrected someday once enough money has been made by the big producers.
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David Furer

Ten of Valpolicella’s top winemaking families have joined forces to promote Amarone della Valpolicella.

Between them, Allegrini, Brigaldara, Masi, Musella, Nicolis, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, and Zenato represent 55% of the value of high-level Amarone and over 40% of the total market.

They have banded together to form Amarone Families, an association of exclusively family-owned companies to champion minimum quality standards and prices for all Amarone della Valpolicella Classico.

They argue, for example, that low-cost Amarone, often found discounted at supermarkets for €10-12, should never cost less than €25 due to the expense of its production.

‘Amarone must remain precious and rightly priced,’ the group’s president Sandro Boscaini of Masi said.

‘The commercial success of our wine lies in its identity. We want to confirm these values.’

The Group has set out a voluntary code of conduct with rules stipulating a minimum alcohol content of 15% and no less than 30 months maturation before release. There will also be rules governing the complex production process of the wines.

There will also be an attempt to persuade producers to declassify wines in less-good vintages.

Each winery must also produce a minimum of 20,000 bottles of Amarone, export to no fewer than five countries, and members will detail the history of their Amarone production on labels.

The Group’s primary focus is on exports, which make up 70% of DOC production.

Amarone’s most important export markets are Canada, which has recently outpaced the US, Switzerland, the UK and Germany.
http://www.decanter.com/news/286415.html?aff=rss

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