Drying of grapes
A great wine expert, scholar and expert of the territory believed in the potential and value of withering: that was Professor Roberto Ferrarini. The producers of Valpolicella owe him gratitude for the success of this practice, by selecting and storing the best grapes for a while before the crushing. The goal results in the evaporation of a percentage of water in the bunches, by concentrating the percentage of sugar and the aromas of the grapes.
The drying process starts in September first of all by cleaning and setting our drying lofts: the one located in the cottages in the Figari cru vineyards; the PalaJago, the new wide house in Jago with a modern humidity control system in order to guarantee the ideal conditions for the drying of the grapes; the Fruttaio, a large space with big windows at the second floor of the 19th century farmhouses now restored for such a purpose. The grapes arrive into these lofts in small plastic boxes of 7 kg grapes each. During the drying period we frequently check on the grape health and the level of botrytis, a "noble rot" which, if present in excessive amounts, can cause problems to the wine. It's important not to rush and to know how to handle the air circulation in the loft.
The grapes for the production of the Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso are let dry for a short time, about 15-20 days.
The selected grapes for the Amarone and the Recioto are dried for a much longer period, at least 120 days!