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Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie
Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie

From ‘loser’ to leader in Montalcino

How Le Ragnaie boomed with an assist from climate change

Out on the wine trail, a week doesn’t go by that I don’t hear something about the changing climate — meaning hotter growing seasons, turbulent springtimes and early (sometimes unbalanced) ripening.

In Montalcino some wineries at the highest reaches of the Tuscan appellation (above 600 meters) have benefitted from the warming. None, more than Ragnaie, which was born with some of Montalcino’s highest vineyards and has only come into its own in the last 16 years.

Vineyards that were once considered too cool to produce ripe fruit are now sought after for their “freshness” and the likes of names like Antinori and Gaja are investing and planting along the high road.

Along with a changing (warmer) landscape. Drinking tastes have evolved since the turn of the century. Big high-alcohol wines are no longer the vogue they once were. Bombastic wines are out. Drinkable wines are in.

So Montalcino lovers, check out this week’s Robert Camuto Meets… column at – part 1 of this series on high-altitude Montalcino focuses on Le Ragnaie’s Riccardo Campinoti.