Power of the patriarch: A wine from 'fair Verona'

08 June 2017 | by N. O’Phile

From the vineyard


Some wines are expensive because their price is artificially inflated by factors extraneous to the product; others are deservedly expensive because of their matchless intrinsic quality and reputation; still others are costly for the quite practical reason that the production process is more labour-intensive than for other wines. Amarone della Valpolicella, called by some “the Patriarch of Verona”, is one of them.

The wines of the Valpolicella region, lying just north of “fair Verona” in the foothills of the Alps, come in many guises. But without doubt the greatest is Amarone. Made using half-dried grapes in the ancient Greek method, it is so dense and strong that one easily understands why cultured ancients cut their wine with water. Its high cost comes from the fact that twice as many grapes are needed and the method involves not only much more time but much more space in which to lay out the grapes for drying.

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