Valpolicella Ripasso Classico wines are produced under the Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, specifically from grapes grown within the traditional classico vineyard area of the Valpolicella ('Valley of Many Cellars').
Valpolicella's Ripasso wines are more complex than their regular Valpolicella counterparts, and are generally higher in tannins due to the ripasso production process used: the wines are re-fermented on the pre-fermented, tannin-rich skins of grapes used to make the area's dried-grape passito wines (see Recioto della Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella).
Because Valpolicella's wines have traditionally been light in body, local winemakers have employed various techniques to create greater depth and complexity. The passito and ripasso methods have been the most successful by far. The former is used in Recioto della Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella, and the latter used to make Valpolicella Ripasso.
Valpolicella is the most famous red wine to come out of the Veneto wine region in north-eastern Italy (Bardolino is the only other contender). The defining character of all quality Valpolicella is its fragrant, tangy cherry aroma, a quality which is carried through into the ripasso wines, particularly those from the classico viticultural areas.