VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO: winemaking and food pairings.

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.

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