Bertani Amarone Classico
A legend with two fiftieth anniversaries
There’s no such thing as coincidence at the Bertani winery: everything is the result of entrepreneurial vision and professional capabilities. Which makes the “coincidence” of two special fiftieth anniversaries – one for the return of the historic 50-year-old 1967 vintage to the market, and the other celebrating 50 years distance from the first vintage in 1958 and the current vintage in preparation now, 2008 – particularly opportune as evidence of the one of the most important winemaking projects in motion at an international level.
The Bertani Amarone project is the fruit of shared vision and three elements at its core: a courageous and far-sighted entrepreneur (Guglielmo Bertani), a great winemaker (Ernesto Barbero) and a winemaking territory with very special characteristics (Valpolicella Classica).
This combination of factors provides the background for one of the few wines in the world that can really boast of being “legendary”.
For this reason, understanding the significance of these two Bertani fiftieth anniversaries means understanding what it means to make a wine that is beyond the confines of time and outside the dictates of fashion.
Today, Bertani Amarone Classico remains a benchmark for those who want to master the real relationship between Amarone and its territory and between Amarone and its constituent grape varieties.
It is, in fact, no exaggeration to say that Bertani Amarone Classico is the inspiration for an entire denomination. This is the wine that launched a denomination and made it not only world famous but also, and above all, authoritative and credible.
There are four cardinal elements that have always been, and still are today, the basis for the Bertani Amarone Classico project:
¥ PLACE: Tenuta Novare lies in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica region and is made up of a natural amphitheatre where vines alternate with woods and the abundance of Nature. This is a special place where constant water is guaranteed by no fewer than seven natural springs and where there is a fortuitous series of soil types, from the clay in the valley floor sites to chalky sites rich in iron and manganese, and then higher up the basalt rich soils ideal for the production of great red wines, such as Amarone. The climate is mild and temperate, as the presence of olive trees
Two amazing fiftieth anniversaries for Bertani Amarone Classico: • 50 years since the first vintage went on sale, • The return of the historic 1967 vintage to the market. Testaments to Bertani’s importance in the making of Amarone’s reputation on the world stage.
proves, and this is a fertile and welcoming land, never hostile.
• GRAPE DRYING: Grapes for Amarone are dried for 130 days on ‘arele’, traditional bamboo-cane racks, in completely natural conditions, or rather, as they prefer to say in the Bertani winery, completely ‘traditional’ conditions. This is the kind of tradition that is the fruit of research, analysis and comparison, all designed to bring the most authentic character out of the grapes. Drying, or appassimento, has gone on like this in the same place and in the same way for more than 50 years. In drying areas that experience all possible climate changes from September to December. Which means that Bertani Amarone is the product of natural conditions all year round, and not just for eight months.
• FERMENTATION: fermentation lasts for 50 days in cement vats that reach as much as 18°C in temperature, because this is the only way to give the wine sensorial characteristics that are different to the more normal concentration on fruitiness at the expense of finesse and elegance. This is a complex decision that means it is even more important for Bertani to use the healthiest and the most rigidly selected grapes.
• AGEING: “Bertani time” has an important role as a star in the process of Amarone making. For it is long ageing times that enhance the character of Bertani’s Amarone Classico, which stays 6 to 7 years in Slavonian oak barrels before emerging completely transformed.
Long ageing allows Bertani to give complete respect to both the vines and the grapes. The success of this process is proof of Bertani’s choice of production methods: never invasive and always respectful of Nature, even when natural conditions seem not to be at their best.
This is the only way to make a legendary wine like Bertani Amarone Classico.
Clockwise from above: natural springs abound at Tenuta Novare; scenes from the appassimento grape drying process in Bertani drying lofts