"For me, Monteleone is the realization of a dream but also a love story. Tony and I started to make wine together and today, by continuing to make wine and to develop the company without him, this gives me the feeling that we are still doing something together"
-Lucia Duran Raimondi-
These loving and wistful words are how Lucia Raimondi recalls the past and looks to the future. Born and raised in Bogota but educated in North America, she spent her early adult years in Chicago. It was there that she and her husband Tony met and married before making the life-changing, life-affirming decision to relocate to Italy. They had for a long time harbored and enduring wish and so in 1988 Anthony and Lucia decided to take a short at making their dreams reality. The unparalleled beauty of Valpolicella enticed them and aroused a longing which had always drawn them towards Italy.
So they bought the magnificent 17th century Villa Monteleone, its fabulous vineyard and the glorious park (which had long since been declared a national monument). With their children now at university, they packed their belongings and moved their life from the US to Valpolicella. And, ever since, Lucia has spent most of her time here in Valpolicella, at Monteleone. But their ambitions didn't end there because of another shared passion. A fascination for what Mario Soldati termed "the Earth's Poetry" - wine.
And so, animated by the fervor of this new beginning, they began investing and bought their first equipment. One year later they took their first steps in wine-making. But it's a long and tortuous journey to pass from an abstract longing to its realization in fact. However, devoting their substantial willpower and unwavering commitment, their project was to prosper. Lucia and Anthony toured other wineries meeting established wine-makers, studying their techniques and production methods. In this way they developed their knowledge, but they also cultivated relationships and forged friendships which endure to this day. In just a few short yerars what they had learnt allowed them to build their winery from a private affair into a functioning business producing niche wines of the highest quality.
Villa Monteleone tells the story of the dream of a lifetime; of a journey; of an endeavour; of a shared longing. Simply, a Love Story...! It is the story of Lucia and Anthony, an eminent peadiatrician, esteemed neurosurgeon and professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, on whom President Pertini conferred the title of Knight of the Italian Republic, in 1980. It's the tale of an American, son of immigrants, who, while on military service based in the Bordeaux region of France, discovers a passion for wine and wine-making that will last a lifetime.
Anthony and Lucia Raimondi have made dedication and passion the foundation stones of their lives.