Valpolicella Ripasso is a well-known DOC wine from Valpolicella, it is also called small Amarone or baby Amarone. Its full name is Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso.
Valpolicella word identifies the production area, Classico restricts this area to five municipalities: Negrar di Valpolicella, Fumane, San Pietro In Cariano, Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Marano di Valpolicella. Superiore says that the wine has had at least one year of aging while Ripasso is the technique used to produce this wine and below we go through it step by step.
Valpolicella Ripasso – Technique Production method
- in September the grapes for Amarone and Recioto are collected in a box and remain in Appassimento till January / February;
- the remaining grapes are always collected by hand and pressed fresh, fermentated to get the Valpolicella Classico;n the months of October, November and December the grapes are dried in a box and while Valpolicella Classico rests in a steel tank;
- in January / February the dried grapes for Recioto and Amarone are crushed and fermented;
- when the fermentation of Amarone or Recioto is done, the wine is moved from the fermentation tank to another steel tank, the pomace of Amarone or Recioto are left in the fermentation tank. The pomce is the fermented skins;
- Valpolicella Classico produced in September is now pumped in the fermentation tank;
- Valpolicella Classico is in touch with the pomace of Amarone for 10/12 days. In this period a second alcoholic fermentation takes place. The Ripasso method gives a greater structure and a lower acidity, a greater roundness and a higher value in Valpolicella extracts, which makes it suitable for aging in cask for about 18 months.
The pomace or leftover are the fermented skins: here the Amarone wine is extracted but the pomace remains in the fermentation tank for the second fermentation together with the Valpolicella Classico: