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What exactly is the difference in the production of a Recioto and an Amarone? Obviously very different outcomes, put the process seems similar. Thanks!
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

This is a very interesting question which happens to relate to a family of wines which I personally enjoy very much. Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto della Valpolicella are in fact two separate wines, each entitled to the DOCG designation. Permitted grape varieties are essentially the same: 45% to 95% Corvina and/or Corvinone; 5 % to 30% Rondinella; and various other approved red grapes. At harvest, grapes for either style must have sugars to yield 11% potential alcohol. After air drying of the fruit, the minimum alcohol in both cases is raised to 14%. The minimum sugar content of the finished Recioto is the equivalent of 50 grams/liter or about 5% RS whereas Amarone may have 9 g/l or 0.9% RS. Finally, Amarone must be aged before release for at least 2 years (Rosso) while Riserva must age for 4 years. There are no stipulations for the aging of Recioto. As a result of all these requirements, you do have two very similar wines, one dry and the other sweet to varying degrees. Hope this sheds light on how the process shapes outcomes.

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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