Vine drying—passerillage in French—is based on concentrating the natural sugars of the grape by drying them. This technique can be used when the grapes are still on the vine, as it is for late-harvest wines, but they can also be picked when ripe, and dried in buildings specially built for the purpose.
Characteristics and pairings of dried-grape wines
Visual: Straw-yellow to golden for whites; the reds can be garnet to purple red.
Olfactory: Candied fruit, exotic fruit, orange peel, apricot, flowers, spice, ginger.
Taste: White wines made from dried grapes have a high sugar content, and aromas of candied fruit and spice. Reds are characterised by notes of cooked fruit and spice.
Pairings: White wines in this category go well with desserts based on exotic or candied fruits. The reds are generally served with desserts or blue-veined cheeses.
Examples: For whites, the Vin de Paille of Jura, and the Recioto di Soave of Italy. For reds, the Recioto della Valpolicella.
Did you know?
Vine drying is called appassimento in Italy, where it is used to make Recioto di Soave and Recioto della Valpolicella.