Valpolicella Ripasso is a fruity, complex red wine from the Valpolicella viticultural zone of Veneto, north-eastern Italy. Because Valpolicella's wines generally lean towards the lighter end of the scale, for centuries the local winemakers have employed various techniques to improve the depth and complexity of their cuvees. The passito and ripasso methods have been the most successful: the former is used in the Recioto della Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella, while the latter is used to make Valpolicella Ripasso.
For a passito wine, the grapes are dried out for weeks or even months prior to fermentation, during which time their natural sugars and flavors become sufficiently concentrated to produce deeper, more alcoholic wines. The ripasso method is to 're-pass' (re-ferment) the passito grape skins with standard Valpolicella wine, creating a deeper, more character-laden result. The style was granted its own independent DOC title in 2007.
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