Amarone della Valpolicella - History

The Official history of Amarone della Valpolicella is not a long one. The first bottle of Amarone was produced in the year 1938 but it took until 1953 before the wine was actively being traded in. The history of the Recioto (where Amarone came from) however is quite a bit longer.

The Recioto was already written about in the time of the Romans. The grape variety 'Retica' was mentioned to be used for a full bodied red wine in the 2nd century BC by Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella (author of agricultural books).

The first reference to a wine called Retico (named after a mountain region near Verona) came from Gaius Plinio Second (nickname: Plinio il Vecchio). He mentioned it in one of his 37-part series of books: the Naturalis Historia.

Around the 5th century after Christ the name Retico changed into Acinatico as could be derived from a quote from Flavio Cassiodoro (consultant of Theodoric the great, king of the Ostrogoths). How Acinatico finally came to be known as Recioto is unknown and so is how Amarone exactly evolved from it.

The rumor however is that Amarone was discovered accidentally because of a forgotten barrel of Recioto which continued to ferment the sugars into alcohol and changed the wine to become stronger and dryer than the Recioto is. This effect was unexpected but appreciated.

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