Amarone della Valpolicella vs. Valpolicella Ripasso: let’s see the differences
The world of wine is rich in variety and characteristics, and the most celebrated Italian wines are Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso. Both wines come from the same region, Valpolicella in northeastern Italy, from the same grape varieties but they have unique characteristics that make them distinct.
Let’s look the differences together.
How Amarone della Valpolicella is produced
Amarone is a prestigious red wine with a special production process. The grapes used, traditionally Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone, Oseleta and Negrara are harvested by hand and left to naturally dry (appassimento) for a long time. So the water inside the berry evaporates increasing the concentration of sugars, making the wine rich, full-bodied and with a higher alcohol content. After drying, the grapes are crushed and the juice fermented to produce a unique wine, Amarone della Valpolicella, a wine born by a mistake.
Characteristics of Amarone della Valpolicella
Amarone is known for its full body and complex profile. It has aromas of dried fruit, plum, dark cherry and spice, with a firm tannic structure. It is a meditation wine, perfect with rich dishes and aged cheeses.
How Valpolicella Ripasso is produced
Valpolicella Ripasso, on the other hand, is also a red wine from Valpolicella, but it follows a different production process. After fermentation of the base Valpolicella, the wine is “ripasso” on the Amarone pomace. The wine made a second fermentation and so it get greater aromatic complexity. So in September, Valpolicella Classico is made from the fresh grapes, while the Amarone grapes are drying. in January the raised Amarone grapes are pressed. Once the fermentation of these is finished we leave some Amarone and the pomace in the tank. This tank will then be filled with September’s Valpolicella, which will do a second fermentation to get the Valpolicella Ripasso.
Valpolicella Ripasso characteristics
Valpolicella Ripasso combines the freshness of Valpolicella with the complexity of Amarone. It has red and black fruit aromas, with spicy notes and a softer tannic structure than Amarone. It is a versatile wine that pairs well with a wide range of dishes, from pasta to red meats.
While both wines come from the same region, Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso offer different sensory experiences. Amarone is a sumptuous and powerful wine, perfect for special occasions, while Valpolicella Ripasso is more approachable and suitable for different culinary occasions. Choosing between the two will depend on personal taste and the situations in which you wish to enjoy these fine Valpolicella wines.