November 8th: Dal Forno Romano
At Vinonueva | 5582 NE 4th Ct, Miami, FL, 33137 | 6:30 pm-8:00 pm | $250 + tax
In partnership with Wilson Daniels
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your tickets.
HISTORY OF AMARONE
It is said that the name Amarone came from Adelino Lucchese, who was a winemaker at Cantina Sociale di Negar in Valpolicella. In the mid-1930s, Adelino supposedly forgot a barrel of Recioto Amaro. The sweet wine started to ferment. When he returned later to taste the wine, the second fermentation had consumed all the sugar left and transformed it into a bitter, dry wine. He exclaimed, "this isn't Amaro (bitter); it's Amarone (uberbitter)!" Others believe that the birth of the Amarone might've had to do with the German presence in the Verona area during World War II. During this time, local farmers hid food and wine from the Germans. And so it was that the barrel of Recioto Amaro was forgotten.
Whatever the real story is, winemakers foresaw its potential and transformed a mistake into one of the best red wines in the World. The undisputed king of Valpolicella.
The first bottle labeled Amarone appeared in 1939, but regular production under this name came later in the mid-1950s. Amarone Della Valpolicella was created as a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) in December 1990 and, in December 2009, was promoted to DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita).
Dal Forno winery is located in Northeast Italy in Veneto. It's one of Italy's most important wine regions and is famous for its Amarone Della Valpolicella.
Romano Dal Forno, the estate's namesake, is the owner and winemaker. As a child, he grew up in the agricultural world and helped his father in the fields.
Romano Dal Forno was inspired by Giuseppe Quintarelli, the only iconic producer in Valpolicella at the time. He took over a few hectares of vines owned by his family and produced his first vintage in 1983. Intuitive and driven, he quickly established a name for himself. His mission was to see Amarone and Valpolicella among the World's best wines.
His comprehensive technical knowledge led him to build a state-of-the-art winery that was meticulously planned by himself. It took almost three decades of construction time. He created the best working and storage conditions.
He has become a local legend—a leader of the new wave in the region's winemaking. Romano has distinguished himself for his passion for work, a constant quest for absolute quality, and dedication to continual improvement.
Dal Forno produces three wines: Amarone, Valpolicella, and in some vintages, a dessert-style Recioto called Vigna Sere.
STYLES OF WINES & UNIQUE WINEMAKING APPROACH
Dal Forno wines are considered modern, concentrated, intense and powerful. Quite the opposite of the traditional style that favors more finesse and less concentration by moderating the use of oak, aging in bigger barrels, and drying the grapes for less time.
The vines are planted in very high density—one meter between rows and 50 centimeters between the vines. Yields per vine are very low, producing concentrated and big wines. A unique green harvest takes place in the summer, cutting the bottom portion of each cluster, which usually doesn't ripen as well as the top of the bunch.
The harvest usually begins with Croatina, Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. Oseleta is the last grape to be harvested. During the harvest, extensive care is taken to sort and eliminate botrytis-infected grapes, which can compromise the wines' freshness. The harvest usually takes one month since everything is done manually, and the process must be done carefully. The grapes are sorted twice by hand, before drying and again after they're dry, to ensure they are in perfect condition with no defects.
After harvest, Dal Forno dries the grapes with a unique process created by him. In a room used only for drying, he has large fans on tracks that circulate air up and down the stacks of grapes. These fans invert direction every 5 minutes, changing the airflow direction. The fans ensure that the airflow is natural and constant as possible.
Ninety days of drying reduces the water volume in the grapes by 50%. In Amarone, the drying takes a maximum of 90 days, and 45 days in Valpolicella.
Valpolicella has been made 100% with dry grapes since the vintage 2002, the same way the Amarone is made. Before 2002 it was a mix of fresh and dried grapes.
After drying, the fruit is pressed, fermented under temperature control, and punched down by pistons. A machine Romano engineered for maximum extraction with very gentle pressure.
When fermentation is finished, the wine goes to steel tanks, which are vacuumed to remove oxygen to avoid oxidation and maintain freshness.
Dal Forno uses 100% new French and American oak barriques for aging instead of the traditional large Slavonian oak casks. They only work with French Tonnellerie, even though they use some American oak. Depending on the vintage, the wine spends between 2 to 3 years in the barrel. And later, 3 to 4 years in the bottle. Total aging is six years.
The main difference between Amarone and Valpolicella is the age of the vines and the length of time the grapes are dried. All other aspects stay the same. They are both made with the same care.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS OF INTEREST
- 10% of the wines are always held at the winery to be released later as a library release. They recently released a 3-pack vertical with Amarone Della Valpolicella 2006, 2008, and 2009. Available at Vinonueva.
- In 2007 and 2014, no Amarone was made. Therefore all the grapes went into the Valpolicella. For sure, two years to drink Amarone quality at Valpolicella prices.
Check out the lineup for this tasting:
- Valpolicella Superiore 2016
- Valpolicella Superiore 2014
- Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 (Library release)
- Amarone della Valpolicella 2008 (Library release)
- Amarone della Valpolicella 2006 (Library release)
- Vigna Seré Passito Rosso