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.

INTEGRATED VINEYARD MANAGEMENT. Sustainability and eco-compatibility: two of Tenute Salvaterra’s missions.

Rational, modern management of vineyards and their soil has proven to be an excellent means of safeguarding the environment.

One reason Tenute Salvaterra is integrating its vineyard management is to enhance quality, but principally it is to ensure greater eco-compatibility and economic sustainability.

 

Assessing a vineyard and then applying integrated management are labour-intensive and complex operations that comprise a wide range of action geared towards reducing the impact of grape-growing on the soil, local population, air and water.

 

Integrated management involves the responsible use of key farming practices, such as irrigation and pesticides. However, regardless of whether producers use green manure, living mulch or slash pesticide use, what matters is that major progress has been made in recent years and awareness has been raised that pesticides have great potential, but need to be used responsibly.

 

Tenute Salvaterra has always done its utmost to ensure that its grapes are grown with a respectful use of resources.

Consequently, we see soil as a unique and unfortunately finite asset, and we recognise that it is the key to a magical, extraordinary product: wine.

 

The values behind our work philosophy—respect, love, patience, flair and passion—provide a solid foundation for our mission, which is to safeguard soil, the origin of our wine.

 

The main objective of Tenute Salvaterra is to strike a balance between work and life, as it is this very balance that governs the natural environment where our wine begins.

 

Terroir and territory: recognising wine by its ties to a region.

In Veneto, wine is spoken of as an absolute concept, as it encapsulates values and tradition, habit and innovation, conviviality and respect, resemblance and difference.

As you journey from Verona to Padua, via Vicenza, and then head to Treviso and Venice, the countryside is covered with vineyards that stretch towards the horizon, giving the impression that Veneto is one large vineyard. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Valpolicella, Amarone, Rosso Veneto, Cabernet, Recioto, Pinot, Raboso and Tocai are just some of Veneto’s wide variety of successful wines.

Though short, this list illustrates that the hallmark of this rich and varied region is its diversity.

Veneto is often associated solely with Amarone and its many prestigious variations, but this would not do the region justice.

 

Its characteristic terroirs have left their mark on an extremely long list of wines.

Minerals, body, intense aromatic bouquet and grape-growing tradition are as prominent in the region’s most illustrious wines as they are in its lesser-known small-scale varieties.

 

Terroir is thus an essential feature of Veneto winemaking, as it is for a host of other regions as well.

Terroir is often erroneously associated solely with soil composition, with the unbreakable bond between vine and soil.

 

The term, however, comprises all of the hidden intrinsic characteristics that can only be perceived on the palate, as well as production methods and grape-growing techniques.

 

Terroir is everything that enables a wine-lover to taste a region and its traditions.

It is what imprints wine with its own distinctive identity, which is highly sought both on the label and on the palate.

A wine should reflect ourselves, and we need to recognise the origins and hallmarks that entice us to buy it.

 

Terroir is also the relationship between producer and vine: the job and passion of everyone at Tenute Salvaterra.