Masi is one of the best known producers in Italy. The 1,200-acre estate is outside of Verona, in the Veneto region. It was established by the Boscaini family in the 18th century and is today still owned and operated by the Boscainis, who have wine ventures elsewhere in Italy as well as in Argentina. Masi is known for its Amarones though it makes a wide range of wines including whites, roses and sparkling. Gambero Rosso has noted that Masi’s wines, “especially the more ambitious labels, are a marvelous union of tradition and modernity.”
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, usually called simply Amarone, was awarded its prestigious DOCG appellation status in 2009. Though lush, high alcohol content red wines have been made in the Veneto since the ancient Greeks settled there, the popularity of Amarone over the last few decades has resulted in international demand for the wine. Amarone is typically made from 45% to 95% Corvina, blended with Rondinella and other indigenous grapes. The blend is essentially the same as for Valpolicella, but Amarone is made from dried grapes, which gives it a rich, viscous quality and an alcohol content between 14% and 20%. Though Amarone is a dry wine, there is a sweet version called Recioto della Valpolicella. The recioto style wines are included in the DOCG, and the word “ripasso” on label usually indicates the sweeter style.