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.
Written by David Furer