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Valpolicella Ripasso is one of Tenute Salvaterra’s premium wines and its crafting was a landmark in the history of Veneto winemaking.
The fascinating story behind this wine began last century in times when the needs of everyday life dictated that “nothing must be thrown away”, not even grape skins.
In those days, Valpolicella was made with varying percentages of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes, but the wine turned out to be light, excessively fresh, difficult to conserve and characterless. Then someone had the idea of steeping the grape skins leftover from the making of Amarone and Recioto in the Valpolicella and fermenting it a second time.
Today, the basic technique is still the same; maceration and fermenting times differ, but the Veneto’s tradition of “Ripasso”, i.e. ‘repassing’ the wine over the skins, lives on. Although this method is unique to Veneto, it is a distant relative of the “Governo” technique used to make some Tuscan wines.
Use of the “Ripasso” technique provides Valpolicella with character, roundness and colour. During its 15-to-20-day maceration period, it absorbs the skins’ residual tannins and their deep anthocyanins to turn a traditional product into a superior quality wine. As a mark of its quality, Valpolicella Ripasso was awarded Italy’s Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) status in 2010.
Since then, it has enjoyed a surge in popularity, and today Valpolicella Ripasso is a preferred choice for wine-lovers of all ages.
Its deep ruby red colour, garnet hues and full body combine with intensely spicy notes and high alcohol content to pair perfectly with a wide range of food. It has even been called a “meditation wine”.
Valpolicella Ripasso pairs beautifully with Lardo di Colonnata on toasted bread, as well as with the strong flavours of the Veneto’s renowned cuisine: from duck in a salami and anchovy sauce, Treviso’s radicchio risotto and Belluno’s Casunzei beetroot ravioli, to its traditional meat and delicate game dishes.
Summer is coming. Routine and pace of life change, and with them our taste in wine.
Long dinners and a glass of red by the fireside make way for an aperitif and dinner on the terrace, nibbles and crostini, accompanied by the brilliant notes and fresh, fruity and floral aromas of a glass of white.
Here in Veneto, north-east Italy, in an area overlooking Lake Garda, Prosecco vineyards are replaced by rows of a white grape that today epitomises the region and lends its freshness and mineral notes to one of Salvaterra’s finest creations: Pinot Grigio.
The Pinot Gris grape was created by a naturally occurring genetic mutation in the more renowned Pinot Noir variety that changed the colour of its berries.
Native to Alsace, it started to make its way around the world from the 1850s. It also reached Italy, where it is known as “Pinot Grigio”, and became especially popular in the north-east, in the area that stretches from Friuli’s Collio to Trentino and the heartland of Veneto. Pinot Gris ripens extremely quickly, despite being highly sensitive due to the size and shapes its fruit. It is therefore ideal for growing at a range of altitudes, as the higher the vineyard, the longer the grape takes to ripen fully.
Over the years, oenologists have studied two parallel winemaking methods for this variety. The first involves leaving the juice in contact with the skins; the second more traditional method involves extracting the juice and discarding the skins. The first is a much rarer method, as it is more complex and produces fuller-bodied wines with intense aromas.
Salvaterra’s Pinot Grigio is made with the traditional winemaking process. A combination of advanced growing techniques, delaying harvest by about a week, and controlled-temperature pressing contribute to the crafting of an elegant wine with sophisticated notes of acidity and minerals.
The result of Tenute Salvaterra’s devotion to traditional winemaking is a Pinot Grigio that is complex, elegant and refined in equal measure, making it the perfect complement to a host of summer dishes. It makes a delightful aperitif, but can also be served throughout a meal. It is a worthy accompaniment to fish antipasti, pasta and risotto dishes, as well as the majority of Mediterranean cuisine.
“Winery at Night” is a photographic project conceived by Tenute Salvaterra revealing the beauty of the Valpolicella territory under a new perspective. A collection of images taken by artist Betta Gancia in the ancient courtyard of Villa Giona, an ancient house from the late 16th century, home of the cellar, and shows an image of nature unknown to us, portrayed in the dark of night. From the absolute black of the night, the artist plays with the weak natural light of the moon, so details, shapes and secret colors are emerging, ones that the actual light of day would not unveil.
The images will be published gradually over a period of 16 weeks, creating an online photography exhibition on social channels and Tenute SalvaTerra blog. An exhibition that exceeds physical boundaries and reaches wine enthusiasts, photography and nature lovers.
In the dark the photographer can find something alive, a glow, lines and colors that define a hope of life and warmth. The nature in the hills of Valpolicella and in its wineries, where our wines are born, is revealed in all its fullness and intensity.
Today we reveal the first two images that opens this photographic journey.
From April 10th to 13th Tenute SalvaTerra is present at the 50th edition of Vinitaly, one of the most important international fair dedicated to wines. Tenute SalvaTerra looks forward to meeting you at the Hall 8, Stand L3.
Also, we are glad to announce that in occasion of the Vinitaly, Tenute SalvaTerra gained the 5 stars wines award for its Valpolicella DOC Classico, 2014.
Only two weeks ago the Amarone 2012 was presented. What is your feeling and how it was received by the public? The audience always participates with enthusiasm to this sort of “baptism” as the Amarone enters the market. In the two days at Gran Guardia in Verona, people can meet the companies of the territory, and not only they can choose the Amarone that they prefer but also learn more about the heritage of a wine, its life and characteristics. We must never forget the importance of the relationship and empathy between the wine companies and the wine enthusiast, and when it is established the result is a great loyalty. An event like Anteprima Amarone builds a stable and strong relationship between the great red wines of Valpolicella and international consumers.
What aspects of the wines of Valpolicella affecting consumers and international markets? The common denominator between an international brand such as Amarone, which is the spearhead of the production and the Valpolicella, which is the most simple wine of our winemaking pyramid, is the territory. The uniqueness of the vineyard from which we produce 4 different wines, the aromatic differences linked to the different soils and microclimates, the ability of producers to imparting a personality so recognizable and autochthonous wines made with 3 historical cultivars: Corvina, Rondinella and corvinone and a handful of other local grapes. This is the great strength of Valpolicella that can also be exploited in the challenges of the global market and this is the direction we are taking in terms of production chain.
Ingredients: lasagna (pasta) 4 sheets, 2 parsnips (or 1 depending by the size), raw beet 1 (if small) or just half if large, 1turnip, jam Pero Misso, Blue Val Maira (or aged blue cheese) 50 grams, sweet gorgonzola, very soft 50 grams, milk 2.5 / 3 dl, ghee (clarified butter) 2 teaspoons, salt, black pepper, ras el hanout 1 teaspoon.
Cut with brunoise way and separately the parsnip, turnip and beet, so the cubes will be very similar in size.
Halve the turnip and add equal weight of beetroot and parsnips. Heat two pans and add ghee (a generous teaspoon per pan). Add in a pan beet greens +, the ras el hanout, salt and a pinch of pepper. In the second pan parsnip + turnip, salt and plenty of black pepper mill. Cook for a few minutes on high heat, then lower and add two tablespoons of water in each pan.
Check the cooking: the vegetables should be cooked but crunchy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the gorgonzola sauce: melt the Gorgonzola cheese in a saucepan, add the warm milk gradually. Simmer for a few minutes. Keep warm.
NOTE: If you prefer a thicker sauce and creamy you can increase the amount of blue cheese. For me it was enough as I added cubes of gorgonzola more seasoned in the preparation.
To prepare the recipe can be used as an alternative to Blue Valley Maira, other cheeses, such as the Monte Veronese Malga, another interesting Slow Food Presidium.
In a saucepan with plenty of salted water, cook the pasta for pre few minutes.
(For some types of lasagna you can skip this step and cook directly in the pan)
Preparation of lasagna: anoint with ghee the baking sheet, prepare the first layer with the roots and pear sauce, a few drops of jam Pero Misso and chunks of gorgonzola cheese. Repeat until you finish the ingredients. Finally, the last layer and the gorgonzola sauce roots. Pour (after having heated) gorgonzola fondue, making sure to cover well the sheets of lasagna.
Serve to bake the lasagna in without letting it dry. Bake at 190 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Check occasionally that the lasagna does not dry out too much. If add a little hot milk.
Serve immediately accompanied the lasagna with a glass of Valpolicella Ripasso Tenute Salvaterra.
All our wines have been reviewed by Gambero Rosso, the Italian prestigious company that since 30 years is considered the most influential guide in terms of judgement of wine and food quality. The symbols of Gambero Rosso – three glasses for wine – have become a coveted goal and a point of reference.
For 2016 we are proud to announce that our Amarone Riserva 2004, Amarone and Ripasso Classico 2008 were awarded with two glasses out of three, a great result and an encouraging recognition that makes us proud of our daily job and efforts to produce an outstanding wine.
“Wine as a culture for us means translating in it the natural elements of the earth” says Paolo Fontana, SalvaTerra Group CEO
Naturalness is, in fact, an important value: Tenute Salvaterra goal is also to produce in an authentic way, so as to safeguard and enhance the biodiversity of the territory, which in the globalization age risks disappearing.
Safeguarding the territory also means protecting the landscape with a reasoned viticulture, difficult but also fascinating in the most extreme territories, such as the terraced vineyards on the upper hills.
In the heart of Valpolicella, surrounded by cypresses, olive trees, stone walls and vineyards you will find the historical and fascinating village of Castelrotto overlooking Tenute Salvaterra.
The soil here is wet, as be between the earth and the rocks there is marl, which takes the water up. This is the natural secret of an incredible wine who is gaining success and consensus internationally. A wine that reflects the essence of Italian lifestyle, the joy of sharing meals with family and friends.