"The quality of a wine cannot be distinguished from the place of origin of the grapes and from the persons who produce it."
North of Verona, in the town of Negrar, at the Valpolicella zone’s highest point (350 m - 1,148 feet), the Le Ragose estate overlooks gentle, lush green hills.
In 1969, enologists Arnaldo Galli and his wife Marta bought the 70-acre Le Ragose estate, which had been abandoned. Recognizing that many excellent vineyard sites had been abandoned in favor of more easily-farmed sites on the plains, they replanted the Le Ragose and Le Sassine vineyards and began making Amarone and Valpolicella in as natural a way as possible.
Here, 40 acres of terraced vines face southwest on steep slopes, well above the frequent, notorious winter nebbia (fog), which lingers below. The soil is clay laced with magnesium, calcium and iron on well-draining tufaceous subsoil. The ideal “above-the-fog” location (low humidity and excellent sun exposure) is particularly suited for appassimento, the process of drying grapes essential to Amarone production; it also allows for successful ripening of minor indigenous varietals, which few producers can claim.
The estate’s forty acres are dry farmed (no irrigation) and the steep vineyard slopes require all vineyard work to be done by hand. For aging, large Slavonian botti (oak casks), with experimental use of new and used French Allier and Tronçais barriques, allow truer expression of subtle terroir characters that make a wine from “Le Ragose” unmistakably of its place and uniquely itself.
Marta Galli, often referred to as "La Signora del Vino," was voted “Wine Maker of the World” in 1990 by her peers, in part because of her influence in re- establishing Valpolicella as a classic in Italian wine and helping it achieve a DOC designation. She was also a founding member of the prestigious VIDE organization of small family-owned estates that promote excellence and typicity, as well as Le Donne del Vino, an international group for women in wine.
Paolo (manager) and Marco (winemaker) now manage the property and remain faithful in the vision they share with their parents – a vision where even the simplest wines are made to evolve and age beautifully for years.
“In winemaking, it’s not your sex that counts, it’s your soul.”
|Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.|