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Ca' Rugate Valpolicella Rio Albo 2013
Food Pairing: Ideal with grilled or roast chicken and pork and goodwith tasty hard cheeses.
Grape Varieties: 40% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, 30% Corvinone
With courage and sacrifice, Amedeo's wife, Donna Adele raised their children until the 1930's when their son Fulvio, known as «Beo» took over the family's business. Fulvio continued the work that his father laid out, for the most part focusing on the viticulture, purchasing the most prestigious vineyards of the hills of Rugate, making wine and selling their grapes, some to the local cooperative and some kept to make their own production. In 1950, in Brognoligo where intensive farming of the grapes is diffused, Fulvio purchased the first vineyards located in Monte Fiorentine area and focused on planting in this zone which had been overlooked for years.
It is was Fulvio, in the beginning of the 1970's who made the decision to emphasize and improve the quality of the grape, in complete autonomy with respect to the cooperative of the territory. Thus the winery Azienda Agricola Tessari Fulvio was born and Fulvio became the predecessor of what would become Ca'Rugate. In 1978 only 7 hectors (18 acres) were cultivated.
At the end of the 1980's Fulvio's eldest son Amedeo unite their efforts to give life to Ca' Rugate whose name comes from the hills north of Brognoligo and where the house and the vineyards of the Estate are located.
The first bottles that carry the name Ca' Rugate are from the 1986 vintage. These were the years of "fermentation" for the Winery. The cellar in Brognoligo was enlarged and the wines begin to cross national borders. La Garganega variety at that time was the only grape planted and by 1999 covered 16 hectors (40 acres).
In 2001, as Michele was entering the family's business, carrying on as the fourth generation of grape growers, the Tessaris made the decision to build a new, larger and technologically advanced cellar along the road of the Val d'Alpone. An endeavor that was financially challenging but far-seeing. In the same year, the family decided to invest their experience in the Valpolicella area by purchasing the first vineyards in the hilly zone of Montecchia di Crosara.
The new cellar was inaugurated in 2002 which began the dynamic growth of the last ten years of the estate of Ca' Rugate. The arrival of Michele brings a lively entrepreneurial spirit that has permitted its expansion and further affirms the winery both in terms of quality and organization. It is in these last years that more considerable viticulture development has taken place. From 2002 to 2008 around 30 hectors (74 acres) have been purchased in the best areas of Monteforte d'Alpone and Montecchia di Crosara which makes a total of 48 hectors (119 acres).This strategic structural growth is supported by a distribution of the wine that covers 97 provinces of Italy and 23 foreign markets.
Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines, Valpolicella literally translates to the “valley of cellars” and is composed of a series of valleys (named Fumane, Marano and Negrare) that start in the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains and end in the southern plains of the Veneto. Here vineyards adorn the valley hillsides, rising up to just over 1,300 feet.
The classification of its red wines makes this appellation unique. Whereas most Italian regions claim the wines from one or two grapes as superior, or specific vineyards or communes most admirable, Valpolicella ranks the caliber of its red wines based on delimited production methods, and every tier uses the same basic blending grapes.
Corvina holds the most esteem among varieties here and provides the backbone of the best reds of Valpolicella. Also typical in the blends, in lesser quantities, are Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Corvinone and a few other minor red varieties.
Valpolicella Classico, the simplest category, is where the region’s top values are found and resembles in style light and fruity Beaujolais. The next tier of reds, called Valpolicella Superiore, represents a darker and more serious and concentrated expression of Valpolicella, capable of pairing with red meat, roast poultry and hard cheeses.
Most prestigious in Valpolicella are the dry red, Amarone della Valpolicella, and its sweet counterpart, Recioto della Valpolicella. Both are created from harvested grapes left to dry for three to five months before going to press, resulting in intensely rich, lush, cerebral and cellar-worthy wines.
Falling in between Valpolicella Superiore and Amarone is a style called Valpolicella Ripasso, which has become immensely popular only since the turn of the century. Ripasso literally means “repassed” and is made by macerating fresh Valpolicella on the pressed grape skins of Amarone. As a result, a Ripasso will have more depth and complexity compared to a regular Superiore but is more approachable than an Amarone.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.