Pier Paolo Antolini Ripasso
Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella
Valpolicella Classico , Valpolicella, Italy
This Italian Ripasso is simply stunning! There are delightful aromas of ripe cherries, burnt strawberries and chocolate. The palate is very seductive, smooth yet mouth-filling while the finish is fresh and long in this stylish red.
- Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella
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We came across Pier Paolo Antolini and his brother Stephano while on a quest for new Italian wines. We heard rave reviews about an up and coming winemaker, known by locals as Amarone Boy. So we made a trip to Marano di Valpolicella, 25km north of Verona to Pier Paolo Antolini’s vineyard to see what Amarone Boy was all about.
As soon as we arrived, we realised Pier Paolo was our type of producer. He’s energetic, enthusiastic and animated even by Italian standards. Pier Paolo and his brother Stephano care deeply about their land and the wine it produces, and their passion is infectious. Their vineyard is small, just 7.5 hectares, and located on very stony ground. In fact, the ground around Marano di Valpolicella is so stony that it had to be completely cleared before it could be cultivated. Stephano and Pier Paolo did most of this work by hand, so every square meter of the vineyard is precious.
Pier Paolo really does raise his vines like children; each bunch of grapes receives personal care and attention. This comes through in the wines. All Antolini wines possess intense aromas and a sumptuous smoothness, due in part to the temperature variation Marano di Valpolicella experiences between day and night. This variation is just another part of what Pier Paolo calls the Vital Flow in his vineyard, the synergy between the land, the grapes and the winemakers. It’s this Vital Flow that’s ultimately responsible the fantastic wines that exemplify the best of Valpolicella.
In Valpolicella it is not enough to cultivate the land. The land has to be shaped and sculptured, creating terraces and slopes; it has to be retained by dry walls, which are designed to follow the general slope and the exposition to the sun. The dry walls (marogne) were developed in ancient time, as a natural process, from the mounds of stones collected from the clearing of the fields, day after day.