Allegrini 2018

Research in the vineyard and in the cellar, elegance, sustainability: the future of Amarone

At WineNews, the reflections of Tedeschi, Allegrini, Speri, Tommasi and Masi, among the top names of the territory and of the “Famiglie storiche”

Research in the vineyard and in the cellar, between sustainability and quality, research into elegance and the maximum expression of the “terroir” in the bottle, even more promotion in world markets, but also hospitality in the territory, with the main objective of maintaining the image of Amarone as an iconic wine, as an elite product and not as a mass product: This is where the future of Valpolicella’s most important wine begins, and one of the most important wines in Italy, according to some of its most famous producers, pioneers of the territory, and united by the association of Famiglie storiche (Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Masi, Musella, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Torre D’Orti, Venturini and Zenato together move 2.3 million bottles of Amarone Docg, 80% of which are exported, with a growth of 18% in 10 years, especially in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavian countries and Switzerland), which joined yesterday in Milan to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its foundation, and have contributed decisively over the years to produce the Amarone della Valpolicella, a wine that can move a turnover of 334 million euros, which ends 65% from export, and top of a territory, Valpolicella, where the wine has a total business of 600 million euros. The success of Amarone has also led to the growth of the founding values, with one hectare of vineyards in the most prestigious areas, and in particular in Valpolicella Classica, which also reaches 500,000 euros per hectare.
“The most important thing is to continue to work to keep the value of the product high and to ensure quality - Sabrina Tedeschi, head of the Family winery and president of the Famiglie storiche, explains to WineNews - and to achieve quality one must invest in the territory. In other words, investing in the hills, selecting the vineyards where to produce Amarone, doing research to understand which technologies can help us, also in relation to climate change, and to be more sustainable. A lot of research is required, and we continue to collaborate with the University of Verona, as a company and as a group, to improve in this direction. Then, we have to continue with the promotion, which is always fundamental: it is necessary to increase the knowledge of the product, to inform the consumer, and to make the quality product known more and more so that Amarone is increasingly identified as an icon of Italian wine. As we have done since 1960-1970, we must continue to travel to make it known. Afterward, it is fundamental to receive the consumers in the territory, because they must know where the wine is produced”. A vision in line with that of Marilisa Allegrini, at the helm of one of the most famous names in the area. “We must continue to work with seriousness and different ideas, in my opinion, one of the important things that Valpolicella has to offer on its side is the possibility to promote the product together with a wonderful land, with many experiential paths that can be made between history, culture, and product. We acquired knowledge and skills, learned to make a wine that pairs well with the great cuisines of the world, which is an important plus, and then we went towards elegance, so no longer just structure and residual sugar, but towards the search for a great balance, thanks to the Corvina and the techniques of drying that have evolved. Then, since we are in a magical territory, we must think more and more about its protection, then go in a direction if not just organic farming, at least sustainable.
Giampaolo Speri, head of the historic Speri winery, also says that this territory is the anchor for to sail towards the future. “The quality for us has always been the search for the maximum expression of terroir. The Monte Sant’Urbano, in particular, expresses the elegance and finesse of this wine. Over the years, research has changed over how to express the territory as much as possible, not only through the technique but through the selection of the grapes that are planted on this land and go to the cellar. And the future will increasingly change from the enhancement of the classic area, from the search for particular terroir that expresses the vines to the maximum”.
“The main change was in viticulture, in the last 20 years we focused on quality, thinking that good wine is made first in the countryside and then in the cellar - added Pierangelo Tommasi, at the head of one of the most important groups of Italian wine, with the heart and history in Valpolicella - and the market has responded well, has found an Amarone that appeals, new markets have started moving the territory forward. However, there are also problems: the territory has expanded, we are more than 8,000 hectares of vineyards in Valpolicella, and production has also grown a lot. We must control this aspect so that Amarone continues to be considered an elitist product, and not a mass one”.
It is impossible, however, not to make some consideration of the controversy that, for years, has seen the opposition, on different aspects, the Famiglie storiche and the Consortium of Valpolicella. A division that has been trying to recompose for some time and that can only damage the entire territory. “It is absolutely harmful, and after all, it had no reason to be created, and we all hope that it will end soon, perhaps without winners or losers,” comments Sandro Boscaini, dean of Valpolicella and Amarone, at the head of Masi Agricola. “We, as Families, have some steps on our part, we have removed “Amarone” from our brand, as per the sentence, but we cannot get out of our way. However, we have to reflect: we must not take things too far, we can not compromise the Amarone, the producers and the prestige of this product. We must look to the future, we are here for Amarone, to promote Amarone, for the benefit of everyone else who does it and at whatever price people sell it. We are a group of historical producers who, believing in Amarone, work together. There are differences between us, but it unites us the way we think, we believe that Amarone is a great wine, and can also be a great business: we have to show the best, and work for the future of our families and our land”.

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