(Italy) This term describes wines made from grapes which have been dried for several months prior to fermentation. The dehydration results in a concentration of the grape sugars, and the resulting wines are sweet. If fermented to dryness the wines are known as Amarone. The drying process may be referred to as passito.
(Ray-CHO-toe) - Wine from the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy, made from especially ripe grapes (hence the name, from the dialect word for "ears," referring to the upper edges of the grape bunches that get the most sunlight and thus ripen the most. The juice is further concentrated by the "passito" process in which freshly harvested grapes are allowed to dry into raisins before they're pressed and fermented. Usually sweet, although the well-known style Amarone is dry. See also "Ripasso."