The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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62 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2015 { italy } WHAT DO FINE WINES AND WINE BRANDS HAVE IN COMMON? They both age well, and they need an occasional dusting off. Such was the case for iconic Italian wine brand Bertani, Italy's premier maker of Amarone Classico. Much-admired and often misunderstood, Amarone is one of Italy's viniferous treasures and, as a labor-intensive process, can be one of its tribulations. Traditional, rich, complex—and pricey—the wine isn't often up front and center with today's wine-drinkers. To refresh Amarone's image and remind people of its greatness, Bertani created the "Amarone Academy," a week-long intensive held in Verona this spring for 13 members of the wine trade. This SOMM Journal editor attended as both a reporter and a student, getting my hands dirty in the vineyard with the rest of the class. Pete Willcock, Director of Brand Development for Bertani at importer Palm Bay International, was on the stateside team organizing the curriculum, along with five members of the Verona- based Bertani team. Riccardo Legnaro, Vice President of Italian Brands at Palm Bay, and Stefano Mangiarotti, Bertani's Director of Sales in the Americas & Asia, led the tour, joined by head winemaker Andrea Lonardi. From ideation to execution, the curriculum took about eight months. Selecting attendees Hands-on education: Maggie Reeb, Signature Fine Wine Representative at Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, selects her cane and clips as pruning specialist Livio Tognon (blue jacket) instructs. Michael Henderlight (left), Italian Wine Specialist for American Wine & Spirits, and Brandon Lervold, Italian Wine Specialist, Young's Market, Seattle, look on. An Education in Amarone BERTANI'S AMARONE ACADEMY HELPS PRESERVE AND REFRESH KNOWLEDGE OF THE VENETO'S MOST MAJESTIC WINE story and photos by Lana Bortolot A historic bottle of Bertani Amarone.

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