Expertise History Technique

Well known in the Venetian regions since the time of the Ancient Romans, the Appassimento grape drying technique has been used at Masi for generations. Our technical staff have updated the method using scientific research and new technology to make "modern wines with an ancient heart", which is especially true of our Amarones.

Today, we are proud that our particular expertise in this method is recognised worldwide and is certified on our bottles with the APPAXXIMENTO® trademark, which underlines "the expertise of Masi in Appassimento in the XXI century", acting as our guarantee for the authenticity and quality of the products involved.

There is wide historical documentation, including archaeological and written evidence, that shows how, in the Verona hills area, the Ancient Romans laid out grapes to dry on bamboo racks in the cold winter months with the aim of making a sweet, highly-concentrated nectar celebrated by Classical authors as Reticum, before becoming known as Acinaticum in Mediaeval times.

This tradition was handed down over the centuries until, in the second half of the last century, the sweet version of this wine - Recioto - was superseded by the dry version - Amarone - in which a long fermentation process transforms all the sugars into alcohol. This was the beginning of Recioto Amarone, recently restyled as Amarone della Valpolicella.

Over the course of the last fifty years, the Masi Technical Group has developed the Appassimento technique in an innovative manner to make modern-style Amarones and other emblematic wines, such as Campofiorin, counter-signing them with the symbol of Masi's expertise.

It was in Verona that Masi developed the traditions of the Appassimento technique crucial to the making of Amarone, during a long period of production. Following this, Masi technicians were able to re-interpret this method in an original way applying it to different grape varieties and to winemaking regions outside its original homeland.

The artisanal Appassimento technique consists in identifying and picking the most suitable bunches of grapes at the right stage of ripeness before skilled staff lay them out on bamboo racks (arele) for the cold winter months. During this long period the grapes undergo two fundamental changes: they lose about 30-40% of their original weight, concentrating the sugars aromas and polyphenols; and their aromatic qualities gain in complexity. In the case of those grapes which are susceptible to attacks of botrytis cinerea or "noble rot", they also acquire more glycerine than usual. The process is completed with soft pressing and a long, slow fermentation at naturally low temperatures in the cold winter months.

The resulting wine is majestic, alcoholic and well-structured; complex and concentrated, but at the same time soft, velvety and easy to drink. Some wines are made 100% with this method, while others use it to restart fermentation of wine made from freshly-picked grapes or to give character to and strengthen a blend. All wines that use Appassimento in whatever way are counter-signed by the symbol of Masi's expertise.

Look for the APPAXXIMENTO® trademark on our bottles
Drying-loft at Serego Alighieri