Azienda Agricola Le Ragose is a winery in the town of Negrar in the Valpolicella region in Veneto in north-east Italy. In 1969, oenologists Arnaldo Galli and his wife Marta bought the 28ha (70-acre) Le Ragose estate, whose many excellent vineyard sites had been abandoned in favour of more easily-farmed sites on the plains. The new owners replanted the Le Ragose vineyards and began making Amarone and Valpolicella. Wines made include Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG and Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC.
Vineyards: At the Valpolicella zone’s highest point (350 m – 1,148 feet). 16ha (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. The vines are dry farmed and the steep vineyard slopes require all vineyard work to be done by hand.
Winemaking: Ageing in large Slavonian botti (oak casks), with experimental use of new and used French Allier and Tronçais tonneaux.
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Le Corte del Pozzo:
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico, Marta Galli: 2008 60% Corvina, 20% each Corvinone and Rondinella. 16% alcohol. Aged in Slavonian oak. Bold, rich, ripe aromas. Black currant and licorice on the palate, with some evidence of baked fruit too. Plenty to get your teeth into, therefore, and by no means over the hill (tasted blind for Decanter in London 17 Jan 2019).
Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso DOC, Le Sassine: From the Sassine vineyard.