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Dear Dr. Vinny,
What is a Ripasso?
—Chris, San Francisco
Ripasso is an Italian red wine from Verona's Valpolicella region. It goes through a wacky winemaking process where the young wine made from Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella grapes is traditionally fermented with the skins and lees left over from making Amarone—which is a wine made from partially dried grapes. This process adds flavor, body, personality and alcohol. These days it's common to make Ripasso by just adding dried grapes to the fermenting wine, which can eliminate some of the side effects of oxidized flavors and harsh tannins.
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