Appassimento: Italian term for drying harvested grapes, traditionally on bamboo racks or straw mats, for a few weeks up to several months to concentrate the sugars and flavors. This process is used in making Amarone, Recioto and Sforzato.
Ripasso: Italian term for a process in which dried grapes or leftover grapeskins (pomace) are added to a fermented wine for a period of maceration to increase its intensity, flavor, alcohol and color. This method is used to make some wines from Valpolicella, using the leftovers from the area's Recioto or Amarone wines, made from raisinated grapes dried on mats in the appassimento process.
Passito: An Italian term literally translated as "sweet," passito is used in Italy to describe wines that have been made from dried grapes, in the appassimento method. Drying the grapes concentrates the sugars, and the process can be used to make both sweet dessert wines like Recioto as well as dry reds such as Amarone and Sforzato.
Recioto: Extremely concentrated Italian wine made from grapes that have been dried or raisined in special drying rooms for a few months after harvest before being crushed. The wine can be dry or slightly sweet.
Sforzato: An Italian term meaning "strained," sforzato wines (also know as sfursat) are made in northern Italy's Valtellina region of Lombardy in the appassimento method, similar to Amarone, by laying harvested grapes on straw mats to dry for several months. The drying process concentrates sugars and results in higher alcohol wines. In the Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG, the wines must be a minimum of 90 percent Chiavennasca, the local name for Nebbiolo, and have at least 14 percent alcohol.