30th May, 2013 by Rupert Millar
Producers in Valpolicella are forgetting about Recioto as the popularity of Amarone continues and it is in urgent need of updating if it is to escape obscurity says on the region’s biggest winemakers.
Sandro Boscani, chairman of Masi, told the drinks business: “Recioto is a wine that everyone likes, but unfortunately very few people buy. Despite the fact that is the father of Amarone.
“The producers themselves concentrate on the making and selling of Amarone, forgetting about Recioto, which has a great history and is a truly unique style of red dessert wine.
“Its drawback is that it has never been updated as a product, or in terms of marketing. Personally, I believe that a future challenge for Valpolicella producers should be to carry out a Recioto restyling.”
This will be increasingly difficult though as the lure of Amarone is more enticing. Boscani said that around 80% of Amarone production is still sold in export markets such as the US, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Japan.
For Boscani, the success of Amarone is indicative of the strength and popularity of Italy’s native grapes.
He said: “Italy has a great heritage of indigenous grapes that has allowed it to come to market with a wide array of original and different products from region to region. In the beginning there is no doubt that the success of Italian wines on the international market was helped by the number and quality of Italian restaurants abroad.
“But that’s no longer the case. Italian wine has its own appeal and is now recognised for its elegance, its innovation and its capacity to inspire.
“Today, Italian wine is a leader in the range of value-for-money wines it can offer, both to the on- and the off-trades, and wines made from native Italian grapes offer a vast range of possibilities for food and wine matching with every type of cuisine.
“In this sense they are a breath of fresh air, unconventional, not copies at all, and they present a real alternative to the standardisation involved in wines made from international grapes.”
For more on Italy’s indigenous varieties, see the upcoming June issue of db.