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Masi and Inniskillin collaborate on 2000 year old Italian rarity

Veneto producer Masi and Canadian icewine specialist Inniskillin are collaborating on a new Recioto della Valpolicella.

Traditionally heavy and alcoholic, Recioto is a naturally sweet red made from air-dried – appasimento – grapes. Inniskillin and Masi are striving for a lighter more fruit-driven style whilst retaining traditional characteristics.

Inniskillin president Donald Ziraldo – whose parents came from north east Italy – told decanter.com that he is sticking by traditional methods, but shortening maceration, fermentation and barrique ageing.

The resulting wine is lighter in body, tannins and alcohol with a colour more ruby than purple.

Ziraldo stressed that this is not a new or international wine, but a rejuvenation of the classical style that keeps its traditional integrity.

Details are not confirmed, but it is likely the wine’s name will reference Dante Alighieri. Masi distributes Serego Alighieri wines from an estate owned by the medieval poet’s descendants.

Italians call Recioto a vino da meditazione. ‘Drinking this Recioto and reading Dante. Sounds like a great way to spend your life,’ said Ziraldo.

The deal has taken five years to come to fruition. Ziraldo was at first unsure about collaborating with the venerable Italian producer.

‘What’s a Canadian going to do showing Italians how to make Recioto?’ he asked whn first approached by Masi president Sandro Boscaini.

Ziraldo is now investigating the possibilities of working with native white variety Picolit on the land still farmed by his relatives in Friuli.

  • Reports that Amarone della Valpolicella – Recioto fermented to dryness – will soon be upgraded to DOCG status have yet to be subtstantiated. In the unpredictable Italian wine scene it remains to be seen if, and to what extent, this will happen.

    Written by Matthew Hemming

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