Recioto di Soave: origins and history
Recioto has an ancient history that dates back to the Romans.
In Roman times it was not called Recioto di Soave but from some poems of Plinio il Vecchio, he explained different recipes about how to prepare the “Vinum Passum” (sweet, dried wine).
In order to obtain “Vinum Passum” the grapes were left on the plant to dry for about a month after the harvest; another way was to harvest them immediately and leave in the sun for three to four days or in the shade for ten days to dry. Once the drying period was over, the bunches were put into amphora tanks where the maceration of the grapes with the must could start. A few months were necessary to have the wine ready.
In the 530 D.C. people started to talk about dried white wine that at the time was called Acinato white. The grapes were carefully selected and harvested from the vines that were trained in the “pergola” system, and hung upside down for the drying process. Once the process was done, the grapes were left in the amphora tanks waiting to be pressed during winter.
The first time the word Recioto di Soave came out was in the tenth century when the first vineyards of Garganega grapes were discovered. The dried sweet wines were extremely popular at that time and they were called “Natalini”, a name that comes from Natale (Christmas), because the grapes were pressed during Christmas period.
The official name Recioto di Soave was given to the dried wine only in the year 1968, while the DOCG (denomination origin controlled and guaranteed) was given to Recioto di Soave in the 1998.
Recioto di Soave is a sweet wine with a velvet taste and intense smell.
The name Recioto comes from a Veneto dialect word “Recia” that means a not compact small grape bunch, perfect for drying process. Considering that the sweet wine was produced only using the small grape bunches, the name that seemed fitting the best was Recioto.
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