Tommasi Masters the Art of Amarone

From by Wanda Mann
Tommasi Masters the Art of Amarone

IMG_0761Pierangelo Tommasi proudly represents the 4th generation of his celebrated winemaking family. 

The only thing more impressive than Pierangelo Tommasi's passion for his family's Amarone is the wine itself. Amarone has a reputation for being robust but Tommasi balances that power with elegance and vibrancy. With over 110 years of experience, the Tommasi family has clearly mastered the art of Amarone. The hillside vineyards of their estate in the heart of Italy's Valpolicella Classico region provide ideal conditions for producing exceptional wine. 

Home-cantina2-670x483Tommasi dries the hand-picked grapes for their Amarone in handmade bamboo racks.
image courtesy of Tommasi 

Winemaking is a labor of love but Amarone requires an extra level of expertise, intuition, and patience. Understanding appassimento is integral to comprehending the essence of Amarone. The appassimento technique consists of drying ripe grapes for several months. During appassimento, water evaporates from the grapes and the flavors of the sugars and juices are intensified. After this meticulous drying, the grapes are crushed and the rest of the winemaking journey proceeds. 


IMG_0750Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012 DOCG ($80) is a blend of the region's indigenous grapes Corvina (50%), Corvinone (15%), Rondinella (30%), and Oseleta (5%) that were dried for four months before pressing. The wine was then aged for 3 years in Slavonian oak barrels. Amarone is a wine with amazing aging potential, so the 2012 is a relatively young vintage but I was quite impressed at how well the flavors of rich dark plums, cherries, and a touch of spice were already so gracefully integrated with the alcohol (15%). I've tasted other brands of Amarone that overpower the palate like a liquid fruitcake but as I sipped through several older Tommasi Amarone vintages, I noticed that although the flavors grew richer and more complex, the wine maintained an appealing suppleness, soft tannins, and vitality. A sophisticated wine with soul, Tommasi Amarone pairs beautifully with the ambience and flavors of fall & winter - cozy conversations, crackling fires, roasted meats, and ripe cheeses. 

Visit the Tommasi website to learn more about their Amarone and other fine Italian wines. 


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