Passito Wine Production and Winemaking Techniques
The traditional way to make Passito involves picking grape bunches and placing them on a “cannizza” or “mat.” They are allowed to dry in the sun during the day and they are covered at night. The juice in these grapes becomes increasingly sweet as they dehydrate. Some grape juice is also left out in a jar for a few days.
After the grapes raisinate, they are placed in a jar for several days and then pressed. This sweet, slightly fermented liquid is mixed with the juice that was also exposed to the sun. The entire mixture is then sealed in a jar and allowed to ferment for another three to four weeks.
Today, there are several different ways to make this wine. Hanging grape bunches in the sun often replaces laying them on a cannizza. Rather than jars, Passito is now aged for at least three years in small oak barrels are used called “caratelli.”