History

"...the hills broaden one's breath, at once close at hand and remote, known yet wondrously strange. And the wine is their enigmatic essence..." (Gianni Brera, journalist from Pavia)

Welcome to the heart of Oltrepò Pavese!

Located in a beautiful winemaking region, just 70 km from Milan, we find ourselves in Lombardy's southern triangle, at the crossroads of Piemonte, Emilia-Romagna, and Liguria.

The Oltrepò district ranks as the third largest viticultural area in Italy, almost entirely devoted to vineyards, and it stands as the most expansive wine-producing region in Lombardy.

It lies on the 45th North parallel, the celabrated wine latitude that it shares with Piemonte and Bordeaux.

The most cultivated grape varieties here are Croatina, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Moscato.

We are in a fortunate land: the nature of the soils, the altitude, and the climate create an ecosystem naturally suited to producing high-quality grapes and wines.

The history of viticulture is deeply connected to the history of the region.

Oltrepò Pavese has been inhabited since prehistoric times, has been home to Gallic and Ligurian populations, until its conquest by the Romans.

The cultivation of vines in this region traces its origins to the most ancient of times: it is thought that viticulture was introduced to the Po Valley as early as the 6th century BC.

photo by Davide Biagi

In 40 BC, the Greek geographer and historian Strabo wrote about the area and its people (as Brera also noted): 'They are the finest Romans (i.e., Italic citizens) and have barrels as large as houses'.

Pliny the Elder also wrote of a thriving viticulture in the area of Clastidium (today Casteggio).

The Lombards chose Pavia as the capital of their kingdom; in 614, Queen Theodelinda granted lands in the Bobbio area to a group of monks who had lived in Burgundy and who reintroduced vine cultivation in Oltrepò, following the devastation after the fall of the Empire.

Nel Medioevo e poi in età moderna l’Oltrepò ha visto molte suddivisioni di possedimenti tra famiglie nobili del nord Italia: per questo motivo le colline sono tanto ricche di dimore nobiliari (tra gli altri, castelli di Zavattarello, Montecalvo,  Cigognola…).

Later in history, Oltrepò became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, known then as Antico Piemonte.

Commercial viticulture development began in the 1800s, and by the early 1900s, modern viticultural practices were already in place in Oltrepò.

Today, Pavia is Italy's leading producer province of Pinot Nero and a global leader in sparkling wine production.