Amarone della Valpolicella "La Stropa"
50% Corvina/20% Corvinone/20% Rondinella/10% Molinara & Dindarella. While DOCG law allows the use up to half of a harvest for the vaunted Amarone appellation, Monte dall'Ora keeps it to 15-20% at most. The fruit for the Amarone comes from the home vineyard--the same, terraced, certified-biodynamic vines that produce their Saseti and Saustò wines--but from the oldest vines, which are around 50 years old and actually harvested earlier than those for the other wines (grape health and acidity are crucial for the best final result).
The bunches are laid out in single layers in small, slatted, wooden boxes that are stacked in the open-sided fruttaio next to the house/cellar. The drying process lasts around 4 months in this well-ventilated, cool space. The fruit is then destemmed, gently crushed and dropped by gravity into low-sided, open-topped oak vats. Fermentation is entirely spontaneous and takes 30 to 40 days with daily foot-treading; it goes to near-total dryness (1-2 grams maximum of residual sugar). The wine is aged in a 25-hectoliter botte for 3 years, followed by 2.5 more years in bottle. It is named for the stropa or "switch" from the native weeping willow, used historically in Valpolicella and by Monte dall'Ora to tie vines to their pergolas; each wax-capped bottle is adorned with an actual stropa as well.