Oltrepò Pavese Lombardia: Drinking And Eating

Extras, Food & Wine, Italy — By on July 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

by Silvia Menini

Special to The Lost Girls


Important wineries include the historic Frecciarossa (Casteggio area), Monsupello (Broni Stadella area), Casa Ré (Montecalvo Versiggia area, and it is also an agriturismo, where you can find accomodation), Ca`di Frara (in Mornico Losana) and Il Bosco (Zenevredo area). But there are also many small ones that can also welcome you and where you can ask to visit the wine cellar and try some of their wines. It could be also the perfect chance to talk to the owners to get some insight of their work, which is, I can assure you, amazing and fascinating. At the end you can also buy some bottles at a special price.

Cantine Francesco Montagna, in Broni, was one of the first producers in Oltrepò Pavese, since 1895. The Bertè Cordini family took over the activity in 1974 and now they continue the philosophy of having very high quality wines. My favorite is the Valmaga Rosso o.p. doc, made out of Croatina, Barbera and small percentage of Uva Rara e Ughetta. And a fantastic sweet one: Sangue di Giuda o.p. doc made with Barbera, croatina, ughetta, uva rara. Via Fratelli Cairoli, 67  27043 Broni (PV)

Azienda Picchi, is located on the hills behind Casteggio. The family has cultivated vineyards for over 50 years and here are produced one of the finest grapes of Oltrepò. The fourth generation has decided to make wine of their grapes producing wines of great quality – optimal expression of a land so old and rich. My favorite is the Pinot Nero and the Pinot Nero produced in white. Via Sgarbina 69 – 27045 – Casteggio (PV) info@picchivini.it

Azienda Travaglino, based in Calvignano, was established in 1111 and the name ‘Travaglino’ refers both to the Piedmontese term ‘travaj’ which means work – and to a variety of grape called ‘uga travajena’. The whole area takes up 480 ha, 80 of which are planted with vines. The grapes are Pinot Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and the autochthonous vines such as Croatina, Riesling Italico, Barbera.

My favourite wines are: Pinot Nero Vivace, named Pajss: a white wine slightly sparkling. And Pinot Nero (red) named Pernero. And finally a light sweet wine: Moscato Vivace (slightly sparkling) named Dorato. Calvignano (PV) info@travaglino.it

Azienda Il Gambero, based in Santa Maria della Versa, was born by the passion of Victor and Camilla Ferrario who pursued the objective of highlighting the peculiarity of the area while responding to the highest standards of quality thanks to the wise balance between the use of most modern technologies and the most perfect craftsmanship.

My favourite is the Bonarda named Alborada and the Principe d’onore, sparkling white wine (spumante) made out of Pinot Nero grapes. Frazione Case Nuove, 9 – 27047 Santa Maria della Versa info@fattoriailgambero.it

Azienda Anteo is located in Rocca de’ Giorgi it’s named after a figure of classic mythology: Anteo the giant, son of Gaea (the Earth). Anteo fought and soundly defeated all challengers. His strength came from his mother, who filled him with vital energy at every touch. This inspired the owner to name the company ‘Anteo’. It receives its energy from its own land: 30 hectares of vineyards located in one of the top Pinot Noir areas. My favourite is Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Pinot Nero DOCG Brut Rosé (Sparkling rosè wine made out of Pinot Nero) and Metodo Classico Brut VSQ made of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay. Località Chiesa – Rocca de’ Giorgi (PV) info@anteovini.it

Azienda Agricola Quaquarini Francesco is located in Canneto Pavese and a particular attention is paid to the environment and therefore to the consumer. The wines produced are of high quality and  they identify the territory and they are organic and subject to inspection and certification.

My favorite wines are: Sangue di Giuda, made of Croatina, Barbera and Ughetta di Canneto. Red, still and slightly sweet. And Pinot Rosè Brut, sparkling wine made of Pinot Nero. Via Casa Zambianchi, 26 – Canneto Pavese (PV) info@quaquarinifrancesco.it

The Wine

The typical wines of this area are mainly red, but the white wines are of incredible quality and of elegant taste. Belonging to the first group there are: Barbera, Bonarda (lightly sparkling wine), Buttafuoco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Nero, Sangue di Giuda (with a delicate tendency to sweetness). You can also find rosè wine mostly made out of Pinot Nero grape both still and sparkling (Spumante). A few years ago the name of the Spumante rosè changed to “Cruasè”. For those who prefer the white wine, in this area they can find the Chardonnay, Cortese, Malvasia and Moscato (aromatic wines), Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero (using red grapes, the peel is taken away at the beginning of the process so there is no contact between the peel and the must so this last one remains uncolored), Riesling Italico, Riesling Renano and Sauvignon.

Where To Eat
Prato Gaio – in Montecalvo Versiggia: only traditional dishes, some revisited with sobriety, only Oltrepò Pavese wines: selected by the best production.

La Verde Sosta – in Montecalvo Versiggia. Traditional dishes email: info@laverdesosta.it

Ristorante Lo Con Enoteca – in Cardazzo. Wide choice from fish to meat. email: losio.ernesto@libero.it

La Posta – in Broni: “km 0” food and wine. Opened only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

La Locanda Del Grillo Parlante in Borgo Priolo. Wide choice of traditional dishes. Good price.

Azienda Picchi in Casteggio. Winery and restaurant. Good quality!

Al Ruinello – Frazione Ruinello di Santa Maria della Versa  email: info@ristorantealruinello.it

Photo credit:  Riccardo Pastore,sunshine city/flickr

Silvia is a certified sommelier located in Milan.

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    1 Comment

  • Stef says:

    Great article! The locations of the wineries are often fantastic as well. Another important cantina is Tenuta Mazzolino at Corvino San Quirico which has a fantastic red Pinot Nero Noir, or the small San Michele ai Pianoni. To combine excellent food with local wine the Enoteca L’Uvarara at St Maria della Versa is highly recommended!