At Masi, grape Appassimento is carried out in the modern drying-loft at Gargagnago and in 12 traditional drying loft sites situated in hillside vineyards. Here the traditional grapes of the Valpolicella region: Valpolicella, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, are laid out to dry in the appassimento process during the cold winter months.
Of the various storage systems commonly in use today, such as boxes, plateaux and wooden tables, Masi prefers the traditional bamboo rack arele which give easy control of the grapes and permit the maximum airflow around the bunches laid out to dry in the cold winter months.
While the high hillside drying lofts benefit from good natural ventilation and the absence of stagnant humidity, and can be regulated by hand with the opening and closing of windows by the vine growers, the drying loft at Gargagnago has been chosen as the location for an assisted natural appassimento system.Called NASA (Natural Appassimento Super Assisted) and designed by the Masi Technical Group in the 1990s, this system gives us control over temperature ranges, relative humidity, ventilation and grape weight loss, by maintaining ideal conditions for appassimento within the drying loft as defined by the average climate parameters recorded in three of the best vintages for Amarone 1995, 1990 and 1988 and an average year, as well 1991.
The system kicks in when external climatic conditions are unfavourable or there is a risk of damage to the appassimento process itself, especially during periods of great rainfall or fog.