Verona has long been known for its prestigious architecture, historical significance and even famed love stories from William Shakespeare. To an equally important extent is the province’s significance to the Veneto growing region and the time-honored traditions of a unique style of wine production: appassimento.
The process of appassimento, better known as grape drying, allows sugars to concentrate in grapes, which in turn produces full-bodied and powerful wines. Locally, the Corvina and Rondinella varieties are used in this process to produce the wines of Amarone.
One of the pioneers in this region that turned a locally enjoyed wine into an international sensation was Gerardo Cesari. Founded in 1936, the winery has become the premier producer of Amarone and a true leader of innovative and cutting-edge wine making practices.
Part of that innovation lies within their two wine cellars. The Cavaion Veronese cellar was planned and built with the special care needed to produce consistent and captivating wines. Here, great importance has been placed on the wine’s “resting” period, which is fundamental for a wine’s growth and personal character. The large, underground refining room helps keep the level of humidity and temperature naturally constant, ideal for ensuring that the wines age properly. In addition to refining the wines in barriques and tonneaux, bottling and the subsequent long resting period also take place in this cellar.
This cellar is also a permanent home to an exhibition of wine barrel paintings and a photo gallery that was part of an international photo competition inspired by Cesari’s Jèma Corvina IGT Veronese wine. The works can be found prominently displayed in the Cavaion Veronese, and provide a unique and exquisite tourist experience.
The other wine cellar is simply known as Fumane. Completed in 2018, this state-of-the-art facility focuses on the drying of the grapes to produce the Amarone wines in the portfolio.
The computerized cellar is equipped with retractable large windows and doors which can be opened for a natural drying process when the weather is dry and will also close if the humidity in the air reaches high levels, thereby allowing the drying process to continue using indoor fans. The appassimento process lasts between 3–4 months in the Fumane cellar before the pressing, fermentation and a first refining of the wines occur. The juice is then sent to Cavaion Veronese to rest and age.
For over 80 years, Gerardo Cesari has been producing high-quality wines from the Veneto region. The winery has received many forms of international acclaim and is currently imported to over 50 countries around the world. The winery’s dedication to authenticity and innovation have made them an iconic producer of Amarone and a trendsetter for new traditions and styles of wine making. Their continued investments both in technology and sustainability provide proof in their deeply rooted beliefs of producing landmark wines from Verona for the world to enjoy.