Wine Stories Anita Franzon

Masi Appaxximento. From leaf thinning to yeasts it’s all in the detail

Masi Appaxximento. From leaf thinning to yeasts it’s all in the detail

For 28 years the Masi Foundation has organised a seminar at Vinitaly (International Wine & Spirits Exhibition in Verona) to divulge the research and experiments of the Masi Technical Group, the team of experts that has studied and put into practice new knowledge acquired since the end of the 1980s. On occasion of the fiftieth edition of the Verona fair, researchers of the Technical Group coordinated by Raffaele Boscaini, marketing manager of Masi Agricola, wanted to concentrate once more on a central theme for the whole of Valpolicella: grape drying and the many small details that concern this delicate phase.

Winery’s way of being

Today Masi Expertise Appaxximento (the unique process developed and patented to create wines with marked personality, editor’s note) certifies the ability of the Veneto Winery, that has also expanded overseas, to produce wines made from dried grapes. “This year the seminar represents the Winery’s ‘way of being’”, claims Raffaele Boscaini, “it is a scientific conference interweaved with love and passion, because we continue to insist and believe in what we do: scientific thought is our tradition.” “The quality of the wine is never the result of chance, certainly not at the Masi Winery,” explains Lanfranco Paronetto, technical coordinator of the Group. According to Paronetto, who has worked for years in research and experimentation, the most important factor of all is man’s appropriate intervention in vinegrowing and winemaking.

Natural Appassimento Super Assisted

In particular, Masi has always considered drying as a phenomenon to be handled with care and for the past 15 years it has used a system to control and manage the climate called NASA (Natural Appassimento Super Assisted), which is able to recreate favourable climate conditions for this process. The Boscaini family has had the courage to invest in research, contributing to the growth of the whole sector and, not considering the results achieved as a company secret, has put them at the disposal of all the producers who are attentive to the quality development of their wines.

From the vineyard to the cellar the choices for obtaining suitable grapes

From improvements in agronomical decisions in the vineyard, up to the creation of a prototype of an “arella”, the ideal crate for drying grapes, the studies have involved all the sectors considered small and useful pieces of the puzzle, in order to improve the end product: the wine. Mattia Lucchini, viticulture manager of the Technical Group, has concentrated on research in the vineyard to evaluate the ideal soil and climate conditions for drying, the most suitable training system, canopy management techniques and fertilization. The first conclusions have proved tradition right: the typical pergola veronese training system in a hillside environment, thanks to cooler temperatures and a better capacity to intercept light and heat, proved to be ideal for grapes destined for drying. Of the agronomical practices applied in viticulture, leaf thinning is the one that most influences the final condition of the grapes to be dried, as the bunches are less compact which means improved quality of the sugar concentration in the grapes and of the accumulation of anthocyans and polyphenols.

The results of Masi Appaxximento

The winemaker Andrea Dal Cin, on the other hand, has focussed on what happens in the cellar, underlining the great farsightedness needed at every step: from crushing, which generally takes place in the coldest period of the year, to fermentation with sugar concentrations of the must that are incomparable with normal vinification. “Through the experimental cellar, our group has studied a container called a Fermentation Module, created to carry out the activities done during the fermentation period in a better way,” explains Dal Cin. “It is a stainless steel tank with a pump on board to carry out pumping over and délestage in the vinification of dried grapes.”

 

This article is in the last issue of the magazine, if you want to read more about Masi Appaxximento buy Italian Wine Chronicle #2 2016

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