The history of Italian winemaking it defined by the many men and women who have dedicated their lives to the grape. These amazing people have poured their hearts and souls into creating wines that are capable of enchanting those who have the privilege to enjoy them, leaving legacies in their wakes that are often continued for generations after they first took the bold step of dedicating themselves to an industry that defines Italian culture as much as the art, food and architecture that so many associate with Italy.
In many ways, such families form the backbone of the country. They embody everything that makes the Italian people so special. The drive, the determination and the sheer passion that they pour into their craft can be enjoyed by millions around the world and they work tirelessly to constantly better themselves, both to show the true potential of the regions that call home and to continue the growth of an Italian wine industry that has achieved infamy over hundreds of years.
This week, we will be taking a look at a family that has dedicated itself to the craft for generations. These men and women are able to imbue their wines with generations of knowledge and expertise that allows for the creation of some truly stunning wines. So with all of that being said, let’s delve into the history of Rubinelli Vajol.
The story of Rubinelli Vajol begins with the patriarch of the family, Gaetano Rubinelli. This man demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit at the beginning of the 20th century that would not only allow for his family to carve a name for itself in the annuls of Italian wine, but was also crucial to the continued development of the Valpolicella region that he called home.
It was Gaetano who projected and built the famed Chievo Dam, which runs along the River Adige and provides electricity to the region that he called home. Not only did this allow for the exploration of new farming techniques that could be used in the development of the amazing wines that Rubinelli Vajol would become known for, but it also supplied the power for all of the Veronese industries that began making their mark on the world during this period.
His success in this project allowed him to purchase a patch of land deep within the Valpolicella countryside. Fascinated by the stunning setting, Gaetano instantly fell in love with the land and it wasn’t long before the family started to consider just how they could help their new surroundings reach their full potential and show to the world the small secret that Gaetano had discovered.
As in many of life’s situations, wine was the perfect answer. Over the years, the Rubinelli family began to consider the possibility of producing wine, with their land playing host to the grapes that would go on to form the foundations of some truly spectacular vintages. Collectively, the family dreamed of expressing the true beauty and nature of their land in any way they could, with wine offering them the perfect outlet.
The land soon proved to be as fertile as hoped and before long it played host to an array of gorgeous vineyards that are capable of producing some amazing grapes. The soil, sun, climate and the soft breeze of the Conca del Vajol combined to create a setting quite unlike any other in the country and, luckily for all wine enthusiasts, allowed for the family’s passion for their land to be expressed through the creation of some truly stunning wines.
This land of Vajol, which Rubinelli Vajol has called home for so many years, lies right at the heart of Valpolicella, which as many know already boasts a strong reputation for the quality of wine that it produces. This meant that the family had even more of a challenge on its hands in terms of demonstrating that their own wines deserved to be counted amongst the pantheon of spectacular products to emerge from the region. To succeed, the company would need to confront this new challenge with the right philosophy.
The true joy of the wines created by Rubinelli Vajol lies in the charm of the land, the quality of the cellars and the stunning village of Vajol, which is defined by a gorgeous landscape that is lined with olive trees, cherry blossoms and almond trees. This is the very essence of the beauty of the region and it is something that Rubinelli Vajol aims to capture in every single bottle of wine that the company produces.
The secret to the family’s philosophy lies in the time they take to ensure their grapes reach their full potential. Grown in a stunning sun-kissed valley, these grapes are protected by rolling hills and are offered the time they need to reach full maturation, to the benefit of the wines they are used to create. Upon the harvest, these grapes are treated with the utmost respect, resulting in wines that truly define the region.
The Rubinelli Ripasso Classico Superiore 2012 is a beautiful, deep red wine that not only represents Valpolicella ably, but is also available at a surprisingly affordable price, especially when considering the sheer quality that is on offer.
As with all truly great red wines, this vintage features a stunning ruby red colouring that backs up the claims made by the family that their grapes are given the time they need to reach peak levels of maturation.
When introduced to the nose, the drinker may be overwhelmed by the sumptuous aroma of red fruits, which leave an instant impression that is hard to shake off. Dig a little deeper and you will find interesting hints of various spices that tell you this wine is a little more complex than it may appear on the surface.
This balance is managed perfectly throughout, offering a taste that is at once interesting and absorbing. In truth, this is a Ripasso wine that is truly worthy of the name, offering a distinct and impressive body that not only compares favourably against other examples of the vintage, but also allows the drinker to see just what it is that makes Rubinelli Vajol so special.