Zeno Zignoli, the current owner of Monte dei Ragni, is deeply committed to the family’s winemaking traditions, as well as to implementing innovative techniques to continuously improve the quality of their wines. He oversees every step of the winemaking process, from cultivation to vinification, with a focus on sustainable and environmentally conscious practices.
Under Zeno’s guidance, the winery has embraced new technology and techniques while remaining rooted in their respect for the land and the winemaking traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Zeno’s passion for winemaking is reflected in every bottle produced by Monte dei Ragni, including their exceptional Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Docg 2015. With his leadership, the winery continues to produce wines that are a true expression of the unique terroir of the Valpolicella region, while also maintaining the family’s longstanding commitment to quality and sustainability.
This tradition is immediately apparent to the visitor. The rows of vines are interspersed with rows of cherry and olive trees, a natural symbiosis found in much of the winemaking world, for where you can grow grapes, you can grow olives. The land is divided and bordered by the ancient drystone walls, known as ‘marogne’, typical of the Valpolicella Classica, and the vines themselves are arranged on simple pergolas, long favoured here for how they promote sun exposure for the grapes. This sense of tradition continues in the winery – mostly spontaneous, wild yeasts, very soft grape-crushing, no mechanical pump-over to artificially ‘boost’ fermentation, and a preference for larger tonneaux oak barrels over barriques, to encourage slow, gentle acquisition of those woody characteristics in the wine.
This minimally intrusive approach is in harmony with this quiet but brilliant winemaker and winemaking family, the unhurried and unfussy but nonetheless passionate and loving craft that makes these wines, and makes them sing. A real treat, and a rare one given the tiny production, and one well worth stopping to sip, to taste all that work and tradition and history, and think about the minds and hands behind it.