Le Ragose

North of Verona, in the town of Negrar, at the Valpolicella zone’s highest point, the Le Ragose estate overlooks the surrounding countryside. In this highly fragmented region given over to small landholdings, what sets Le Ragose apart is its substantial size and high elevation: 70 acres in one entire holding at 1,148 ft.

In 1969, enologists Arnaldo Galli and his wife Marta bought the 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 vineyard while leaving the original vines in the ancient Le Sassine vineyards and began making Amarone and Valpolicella in as natural a way as possible.

At Le Ragose, 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 tuffaceous 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.

At Le Ragose, local grapes Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella are blended with the indigenous varieties discovered in the ancient Le Sassine vineyard. The estate’s vineyards are dry-farmed (no irrigation) and the steep vineyard slopes require all vineyard work to be done by hand. Le Ragose is one of only 5 growers in the whole of Valpolicella that does not buy grapes.

Marta Galli, often referred to as “La Signora del Vino,” was voted “Winemaker 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. The Galli children 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.

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Learn about the differences between Valpolicella and Amarone with Paolo Galli

Current Selections

  • Valpolicella Classico Ripasso Superiore DOC

    Terroir: Le Ragose Valpolicella is produced from estate vineyards sitting above 1200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a south-west exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. Vines average 30-60 years old.

    Vinification: The fruit is hand-picked and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts for 12-14 days, then re-fermented for 7 days in March on the lees of the Amarone using the ripasso method. The Amarone lees and skins contain sugars and re-fermentation absorbs about 10% of Amarone, giving the wine more aromatic complexity while maintaining Valpolicella’s lighter mouthfeel. For Superiore designation, the wine ages one year in steel, two years in 25-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks and refined in bottle for one year before release.

    View 2014 Vintage
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  • Cabernet Sauvignon Rosso Veronese IGT

    Terroir: Le Ragose Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from estate vineyards sitting above 1200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a south-west exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. The vineyard was planted to Cabernet in 1987 as it was to high in elevation to successfully ripen Corvina.

    Vinification: The grapes are macerated for up to 12 days and fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks, followed by 24 months aging in new and used Troncais and Allier oak casks.

    View 2012 Vintage
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  • Amarone della Valpolicella Classico D.O.C.

    Terroir: Le Ragose Amarone is produced from estate vineyards sitting about 1,200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a southwest exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. Vines average 30-60 years old.

    Vinification: Following harvest the grapes are laid out in single layers in small wooden boxes where they will slowly dry until January or February. Once dry, the raisined grapes are fermented for up to 30 days with indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where they will stay for a period of 12 months followed by 4-5 years in large Slavonian oak casks.

    View 2008 Vintage
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  • Marta Galli Amarone Classico DOC

    Terroir: Produced from an extreme selection of grapes hand harvested from estate vineyards sitting about 1,200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a southwest exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. Vines average 30-60 years old, planted in a simple trellis system with an average of 3300-4200 vines per acre..

    Vinification: Initial selection occurs directly in the vineyard, with only the most pristine bunches being selected. Grapes are harvested in mid-September and then dried until January in the estates cellars. Fermentation occurs over a period of 20-30 days in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where it will rest for another 8-10 months, followed by extended ageing of 24-36 months in new oak barrels. Barrels are a mixture of Allier, Troncais, and Vosges French oak. The final wine will rest in bottle for a minimum of six months before release.

    View 2007 Vintage
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  • Recioto Classico D.O.C.

    Terroir: Le Ragose Amarone is produced from estate vineyards sitting above 1200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a south-west exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. Vines average 30-60 years old.

    Vinification: Following harvest the grapes are laid out in single layers in small wooden boxes where they will slowly dry until January or February. Once dry, the raisined grapes are fermented for up to 30 days with indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where they will stay for a period of 12 months followed by 1-2 years in Tonneaux of Allier oak casks.

    View 2014 Vintage
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