Our team at Montemaggio is at the heart of everything we do. It is our people that make this wine special and welcome guests to make Montemaggio a home far away from home!
Valeria Zavadnikova: Owner of the Fattoria
She comes from a former Soviet Union, born in Vladivostok. Her father was born in Ukraine and her mother’s grandmother comes from Mariupol, Ukraine. She still has relatives living in both Ukraine and Russia.
She is the young owner of the Fattoria di Montemaggio team. She moved to Moscow when she was 11 until the age of 16 and moved to England in order to complete her studies. Valeria graduated from both City University London and King’s College London with a Bachelor in Law and Master in Law degrees respectively.
Her family always dreamt about having an estate in Italy and making wine. After a long search, Valeria and her family found Montemaggio. Seeing its enormous potential, Valeria threw herself completely into the world of wine, learning as much as she could while studying and working. To further enhance her knowledge we has completed another Master in Management and Marketing in the Wine and Spirits sector. She deals predominantly with the marketing, everything digital and social media of the Montemaggio wines.
Valeria lives at Montemaggio with her husband, their 2 children and two corgis. Valeria has a great love for reading, cinema and especially for wine and the countryside.
Agronomist and Director of the Fattoria – Ilaria Anichini
She was born in Florence. Her family has long been present in the Chianti region and were wine growers in the past. She is an agronomist and the manager of the winemaking estate. After her degree from the University of Agronomy in Florence, she spent time working in wineries abroad in Australia and Bordeaux, France. However, she always dreamt of coming back to the Chianti region and to head the team at a small estate, where she could do a bit of everything. The dream came true with Montemaggio, and she has been here ever since.
Since 2005, Ilaria leads the winemaking and estate team as general manager, overseeing grape growing, winemaking, and even dabbles in sales. She has an enormous passion for agriculture, and the world of wine with all its customs and traditions. Ilaria also enjoys the countryside, sea, and sailing.
Andrea Paoletti: External Wine Consultant
He was born in the Chianti region, in the town of San Casciano. He has been working at Montemaggio since 1996. He graduated from the University of Agronomy in Florence and thereafter started to work at Marchesi Antinori in Tuscany. Andrea worked for this Antinori for many years but then decided to leave and become an independent consultant. Currently, he is working as a consultant for many estates in Italy and abroad; a perfectionist, who is always available to give suggestions and find solutions.
His philosophy is that wine, first of all, is made in the vineyards. He says that although Montemaggio does experience some difficult working conditions, they have always been able to make very good wine. A true Chianti Classico and a true Sangiovese wine; a Tuscan wine with a very simple but genuine taste.
Andrea is passionate about the earth and the world of the sea.
Edoardo Luvisi: Cellar Manager
He was born in Lucca, he is a geologist and has a master degree from the University of Pisa in geological mapping and geochemistry. After graduation, he left Italy and spent almost 2 years in Australia.
Down there he found his passion for the wine world. He started to work in a winery for a huge company (Domaine Chandon Australia) and got lots of experience in the making of sparkling wine. He has been to France, close to Châteauneuf du Pape for the harvest 2015 in order to improve his experience with red wines. Actually, he has six harvests under his belt.
He loves mountain and sports in particular hiking, skiing, fishing, and bicycling.
Susanna Baldanzi: Administrative Staff
She was born in Siena, but she has always lived in Radda in Chianti where both her grandfathers were farmers. They made wine and she says she remembers that when she was a child, she loved to go to the vineyards with them.
After school, she lived for some months in England to improve her English and then she started to work in tourism, mostly in hotels, becoming a hotel manager. After the birth of her daughter, she decided to change jobs to spend more time with her and she rediscovered the world of wine with Montemaggio.
Francesco Garuglioeri: Wine Tour Assistant
He was born in Pisa, but he has lived all his life in Greve in Chianti. His grandfather was a cellarman at a winery and his father is a geologist and a big wine enthusiast. He is studying Marketing and Communication and he is currently working on a thesis about web marketing for wineries. Therefore, he decided that he wanted to work extra and was lucky to get an opportunity at Fattoria di Montemaggio where he helps to manage the wine tours.
Other than wine, he is very passionate about music. In fact, he plays the guitar and collects vinyl records.
Luciano Biagianti: Tractor Driver
He was born in Calenzano, a small town near Prato. Before joining the Montemaggio team, he worked as a shipping agent for several years. He has worked in the agriculture field since 1994. In addition to wine, he is also passionate about yoga.
He is from Bosnia and moved to Italy in 1992. When in Bosnia, he was a turner. In Italy, he worked in several farms and then began working at Montemaggio as a tractor driver and supporting team member in the vineyards. He is also involved in the extra virgin olive oil production, gardening, woodworking and DIY activities when needed. For health reasons, he can no longer drive the tractor, but he takes care of all the rest.
He loves walking, the mountain, and fishing.
She was born in Bosnia and arrived in Italy when she was 23 years old with her husband Saijd and two children. She started working at Montemaggio after her husband in 2012. Like her husband, she worked at several farms before. At Montemaggio, she looks after the gardening, the cleaning and welcoming of the guests.
She likes walking, the sea, and traveling.
Marashi Sokol: Farm Worker
He is from Albania and worked for a company that sold medical plants. He moved to Italy in 1997 and worked as a carpenter and, in 2009 as a farm worker. At Montemaggio, he started as a grape picker and since 2013, he has been a farm worker and handyman. He recently took the license exam for driving and will soon have the experience to put his new skills to use! He loves soccer and movies.