Castelnuovo del Garda 2020 Valpolicella Ripasso

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Ripasso is a hugely popular style of wine originating from Valpolicella. The wine's re-fermentation on the Amarone pomace adds depth and richness to the wine. Castelnuovo del Garda makes a brilliant version of this with notes of bright black cherry, forest fruits and just enough richness on the palate. Like Amarone, Ripasso can be enjoyed in its youth, and we rate this very highly, not only for its typicity and deliciousness but also its fantastic value for money.

Grape Varieties

Drink 2023 - 2028



Size / ABV

Standard Bottle 75cl / 14.5%

This Month's Mixed Cases

The Wine Region



Veneto is the largest of Italy's vineyards covering a large part of NE Italy from the Alps to the north to the fertile plains of the Po River basin in the south. It is no surprise the the best vineyards are on the slopes with the industrial wine coming from the flats. This region is the home of some of the country's most famous DOCs Soave, Valpolicella and Prosecco to name a few. Soave and Valpolicella are next door neighbours and are both composed of limestone and basaltic formations. Soave is potentially one of Italy's great white wines: a regions that is exploring its zones in developing a cru system. Valpolicella is already established as one of the great sources of red wines in the north of Italy reaching its peak with the very best producers of Amarone.

Prosecco has undergone one of the biggest booms to occur anywhere in the world of wine. From humble beginnings which was essentially just two communes, Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, Prosecco has spread like wildfire across the plains and hills of NE Italy.

The Sub-Region



Valpolicella is a series of valleys in Italy’s pre-Alps in the region of Veneto, bordering the DOC of Soave, but here it is only red wines that are produced. The varieties used are a combination of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara, but others are permitted. As in neighbouring Soave, the best vineyard sites are on the hillsides, away from the quantity led, fertile soils of the lower plains.

There are a number of styles of wine produced here: Valpolicella and Valpolicella Classico are the styles simply made from freshly harvested grapes. Amarone della Valpolicella is made from grapes which have been dried in the winery until they reach a point of desiccation, followed by pressing and fermentation in the normal way. Due to a higher concentration of sugars from the drying, Amarone is a much more profound wine. Valpolicella Superiore is not strictly regulated as to be precise in its vinification methods, but is normally a blend of dried and fresh grapes. There is another style which is gaining momentum and that is Valpolicella Ripasso. This is an almost unique style of wine to this region where the fresh Valpolicella is refermented with the gross lees (the residual solids from the fermentation) from the same year’s Amarone.


Appassimento Wine

Ripasso Wines

Ripasso is a winemaking technique originating in Italy's Valpolicella region. It involves a secondary fermentation whereby the pomace from Amarone, still rich in fermentable sugar, is introduced to the new Valpolicella wine made from fresh or occasionally, dried grape or a mix of both. This increases the alcohol and at the same enriches the flavours.

This process is often confused with appassimento, which is an entirely separate process, but is a prerequisite for Ripasso as you will need the rich pomace for the refermentation to occur.

The Producer

Castelnuovo del Garda

Castelnuovo del Garda

Castelnuovo del Garda is a quality-focussed co-operative in Veneto in north-east Italy producing a range of fantastic wines. From their vast range, we have selected half a dozen or so wines which have distinct regional character. For me, the highlight is their Valpolicella Ripasso.

The co-op has 2,700 hectares and 1,000 members: its scale means that it can produce consistently excellent quality and good value for money.

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