Why are there no Amarone style wines made in USA?

This is a great Italian wine that the most US consumers would love. I see a lot of French Style wines, but why doesn’t anyone make an Italian style Amarone/Ripasso wine? At least I have not seen any. Excuse me if it is a stupid question.

All they need to do is not water back the zinfandel. Voila!

P Hickner

That’s your opinion. If the style was so amenable to American tastes (see White Zinfandel and extra RS wines such as KJ Chard, Apothic red, etc) don’t you think somebody would have already jumped on the chance to make something?

Ripasso wines are great values IMHO if you like that style, and Corvina seems to be a variety that works well in that method. There are more than a few wines out there in the Ripasso style you might not be aware of, the first one that comes to mind is the Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. Good stuff, but not really anything transcendent. Also, I’m sure cost factors are in play when you are looking at US wines.

It would not surprise me if a few small producers popped up and stated that they might take a small portion of their Syrah or Cab to dry and then crush in a ripasso style without really advertising it.

My guess is that there is so little Amarone being sold in the USA that there is no financial incentive.

Brent, the thing about those wines that you mentioned is that they are not expensive. Maybe it’s just not cost effective, but everyone that I’ve had try Amarone loves it. I’m just surprised that I can’t find one that is produced in the US.

Our Canadian neighbors have given a shot at it.


I think the case is more in line with what you are saying. Pinot Noir with Syrah referment (in the language of Maurice O’Shea).

I have read release notes from winemakers who have done similar things, not with Pinot Noir, but you will not find any mention of it on the label.

Very interesting Drew, but why don’t they advertise it? Those of us who line that style of wine might be interested in trying it out.

Amarone style of pressed dried grapes was originally made to help with underripeness. Something that is no longer an issue in the veneto and definitely not needed in the USA.

Perhaps underripeness isn’t a problem in California, Oregon, Washington, etc., but couldn’t this style find value in places such as Minnesota or Michigan wherein grapes such as Marquette or Frontenac could be manipulated to create a new wine style similar to what is done in Canada? In this case, (MN,MI) vintage would be less of an issue as one could blend across years to potential success…

Around 10 years ago, the area I live in went through tobacco buy outs and grapes were actively pushed by the state as an alternative crop. There was some interest in trying to find a unique wine that could become the signature of the area and one of the first attempts was an amarone style wine made from Chambourcin. This got zero traction and no one even talks about it these days. I don’t know why but I think it was pure economics. Existing wineries didn’t want Chambourcin grapes so growers would have had to bet on the come. And while the prototype wine that was made was good no one wanted to bet that it had enough commercial potential to pursue it.

Both Gino Cuneo Cellars in Walla Walla and ourselves for Cinzia in Portland make wine in the Amarone style. http://www.ginocuneocellars.com/#!our-wine/c10g1
We have been working on our Cinzia project processes the last couple of years making interesting wines from A) Pinot Noir, B) Primitivo/PS/Zin blends, and C) Grenache. We expect the wines we produce from the 2015 to be our first commercial vintage. Our entire 2015 production should be about 300 cases equally distributed between the PN and the Prim/PS/Zin blend. We are also making a PN in the ripasso style.
So, this was a long way of saying there are some folks exploring this method. Cheers, Ed

ITB/Angel Vine, Urban Crush

Never thought of it that way and it makes some sense. Thanks for the lesson.

Definitely more wines from California do it than we know! I recall reading a few Mendocino Winery websites that share the details of their processes, but… Names escape me at the moment! :frowning:

Petite Sirah skins thrown in barrel with Zin, Sangiovese, etc.

I guess it’s a touch like French techniques, wherein a stuck or slow natural fermentation can be kick started by the must from previous fermentation…?


Ms. EC Brown on Hawk WakaWaka Wine Reviews covers an interesting contrast between an Italian Amarone and a South American version.

I am trying to remember which Mendocino Winery conducted referments of grape juice in fermenter or barrel with the skins of another grape included. I know that the same process is done in Amador/Sierra Foothills or Lodi by some wineries.