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the more affordable cousin of Amarone

Properly known as Valpolicella Ripasso, this is yet another wine made from the Veneto's red Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes. On their own, they don't amount to much, but over the centuries local winemakers have discovered that they take on a whole new character when dried.

Ripasso is made from the lees, seeds and skins of the dried grapes (the marc) used for Amarone (or Recioto) quickly 're-passed' with fresh grape skins; these trigger a second fermentation. Each wine maker has his or her own technique; the resulting wine (often boosted with the addition of a little wine from the barrel of a future Amarone) is fragrant and delicious, reminiscent of Amarone, but decidedly cheaper.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Francesca Romana Correale