The Chianti farmhouse of Monteraponi, an ancient medieval hamlet, situated on the hill of the same name, once belonged to Baron Ugo, Marquis of Tuscany in the tenth century. It was not until 2003, however, that current owner Michele Braganti produced and commercialised the estate’s own bottlings. The vineyard had been in family hands since 1974 but the fruit was previously sold off to other growers. The vineyard area, all in the commune of Radda in Chianti Classico, spans 12 hectares. The wines are planted as high as 570 metres above sea level, some of the very highest in the Chianti Classico, on a mixture of hard Albarese and softer Galestro limestone soils. The estate is certified organic and the wines are made in a traditional, low tech and gentle way. After hand harvesting and gentle pressing, spontaneous fermentation is carried out in cement vats where it continues to macerate and infuse with the skins for between 25 days (for the regular Chianti Classico) up to 40 to 45 days for the Campitello Riserva and Baron d’Ugo. The wines are then racked off into large used French and Slavonian oak casks for 16 months for the Chianti CLassico, 24-26 months for Il Campitello Riserva and 36 months for the Baron d’Ugo. In no time at all Monteraponi have already hit cult status in Italy for their dazzlingly pure, characterful Chianti Classicos. These are some of the region’s most exciting, vivid and age-worthy wines.