Why is Amarone so expensive?
Ever wondered why Amarone is so expensive?
Give a glance at the post and you will discover the reasons why the “King of Valpolicella” is a premium wine!
1. Hand Picking
The Amarone grapes are hand-picked only.
1. Because mechanical harvest is forbidden
2. In order to maintain the berry quality and entirety
3. It is not technically possible to harvest mechanically a pergola trained vineyard
2. Discernment of the best bunches
In order to produce Amarone della Valpolicella, appassimento is mandatory and lasts at least 3 months. Only the healthiest grapes can undergo appassimento successfully, that’s why to make Amarone the savvy pickers must select only the best bunches.
3. Limited production
The production of Amarone della Valpolicella is limited by law. Indeed, only 65% of the gathering can be destined for the production of this wine.
Depending on the vintage, the limit can be decreased only.
4. Costs related to appassimento
Appassimento is a natural drying process that takes place into a particular room called fruttaio.
There are costs related to fruttaio construction and maintenance and those related to grapes management.
5. Grape weight loss
The most important outcome of appassimento is the bunch weight loss, comprised between 35 and 50%.
This factor implies a significant decrease in production, but also an increase in quality due to the concentration of sugar, aromas and polyphenols of the berries.
6. Low yield in wine
The production of Amarone is doubly limited, since the yield in wine from grapes must not exceed 40% by law, while usually the limit for a red wine is about 70%.
To be specific, this rule implies that with 1 kg of grapes aimed at producing red wine you get 0,70 liters of wine, while with a 1 kg of dried grapes suitable for producing Amarone you get only 0,40 liters.
7. Prolonged winter fermentation
Amarone wine is one of the few that is crafted with winter fermentation.
Usually the fermentation takes place in January, because of the appassimento, which is needed to make the grapes suitable for the production.
The low temperature and the high level of sugar slow down the fermentation, that might be stopped by them as well.
That’s why the winemaker must follow the fermentation properly and with care.
8. Costs of cask ageing
Amarone needs a period of cask ageing. The costs of cellar maintenance and those related to the barrique and barrels are relevant.
9. Costs of bottle ageing
After the cask ageing, Amarone needs also a period of bottle ageing, which implies costs of storage and maintenance.