Our company was born from a deep and true passion for the earth and for an area which had been neglected and mistreated by situations, by history and by man.
After several discussions and after having thought about this company for a very long time, in 1996 my father Giorgio, my brother Alberto and I decided to dedicate our efforts to a project which would enhance historical varieties of vines, the traditions of vines in our area, but without neglecting technological innovation, international vines, territorial protection with biological, the real biological land that used to exist.
We decided to begin an adventure which many people considered a dream rather than a risk.... no land of our own, no means, no structures, no canteen.
We rented 7 hectares of vineyards, some old plots of land which used to belong to my mothers family and which had been sold or left to their own destiny throughout the years with intensive cultivation of very poor quality.
In two years we drastically changed working processes with very short pruning, 8/10 gems per plant, intensive planting, vine stock processes, the total absence of chemical manure, manure only from animals, copper-based and sulphur powder treatments only and we managed to increase the vineyards to an unexpected level, reducing performance per hectare by 50% but with results ranging from 14.3° of sugar (babo) to 18° on average, on all grapes, even the poorest.
On the basis of these results and with extreme enthusiasm due to the results achieved, due to the huge demand for grapes by the most qualified producers, not only in the area, the right opportunity arose with the acquisition of 17 hectares in the City of Montalto Pavese, the Ca della Gatta area.
All of the land, abandoned or uncultivated, were all cleaned and replanted...
In one of the plots of land purchased, on the top of a hill that separates two valleys, an old elm tree stands, only two large men can embrace it, in our dark and sunny winters it can be seen from all of the surrounding hills, almost as if it dominates the valleys, in a period in which elm trees died due to acid rains, diseases, insects... he rose as if to prove his strength and invulnerable personality... and right there on a day in spring I passed by and noticed it and decided to call the company the "old elm tree".
We started to clean the land, the first plot of land called 'the field of pebbles', 5 hectares for the plot of land, in order to transform the land into safe and ideal conditions, we drained the entire plot, 7 metres deep, all of this work lasted the whole summer, we planted sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, black pinot borgogna, grey pinot...
This valley is rather special, it has a large canal of air that blows throughout the year even in the hottest months and it creates a good temperature range which leads to very special aromas and fragrances, almost unusual for this area.
The following year we moved onto the 3 hectares of the Morone valley, here huge drainage and layout intervention was carried out, we planted barbera, cabernet franc and croatina.
Subsequently we moved onto the olive fields, the most difficult challenge, with 1 hectare of merlot, surrounded by a secular forest, which had already left us speechless during the first few years of production....
...the first year of planting 2003... results in 2006
In the same year we had the opportunity of purchasing perhaps the oldest Oltrepo wine cellar of 1678, below the old castle of Borgo Priolo where the village was born which still transmits charm and history, through a restoration project that lasted 3 years, even though it is surrounded by newly built homes.
We started to restructure the historical wine cellar and at the same time we began experimenting with our first wines.... the first was barbera which just a few friends tasted, 500 bottles, which gave us even more enthusiasm considering the results achieved.
With even more commitment and constancy the 2000 vintage arrived... the first wine was ready.... bargera igt, by choice, not to confuse customers and consumers, in a barbera doc the risk of never knowing what was inside was always increased, a still or fizzy wine.
Very few barriques, but large oak barrels in which the wine can be aged for 2 or 3 years, in barrels or in bottles, without filtering and maturing of wines using their own yeasts.
We began an adventure which, unexpectedly, provided us with huge opportunities for collaboration with wine lovers, the 2,500 bottles produced disappeared in just 3 months, these included a special range of 200 bottles dedicated to the people that trusted in our dream.
In 2001 barbera doubled up with 5,000 bottles and with sales also, in just 6 months there were none left.
In 2002 we started work on our new wine cellar, the most important, modern and fundamental for growth.... in terms of quality.
Once again in 2002 bonarda was born, in this case too just a few bottles were produced but of a high quality, with just one problem... it was called bonarda and it ended up being mixed up in the general market.
In 2003 restructuring work on the historical and new wine cellars was completed.... '14 ottobre' was born... bonarda was not really appropriate... too much confusion, too much of everything, the historical vineyard and the symbol of the Po, the croatina became '14 ottobre', the last day of the harvest, the last wines collected.... the day in which it was born, 14th October 2003.
Again in 2003 the white elm was born, riesling with a small percentage of sauvignon...
In life when everything appears to be difficult, but you still succeed, you realise that justice is not a choice for everybody... our found and our father died... Giorgio.
...and we owe a lot to our father as he really did believe in this, even when the whole world was against us, we are glad to have been led by him, in these years of turmoil.. and proud of having had a father who was our guiding light and gave us the chance to make a dream come true...
We dedicated the most beautiful, the most difficult vineyard to him, the one that he preferred.... Giorgio Quinto was created, the wine that includes all of his efforts, his desire to make a dream come true... something that our father gave his whole life to...
Different examples of works indicate the origins, even if not always correctly, we know that in an act of 1449 a so-called Salio Giovanni, proves that he belongs to a very old family and that the family legacy includes a clause dated 1336, which prohibited sons and daughters from selling the 'borgio priolo' castle which the father had built, to others.
In the battle between the marchioness of monferrato (Guelfi) and Visconti (Ghibellini), the village was conquered by the first, but subsequently thanks to General Visconteo Luchino dal Verme it was handed over to the Visconti family.
It belong to the Montebello stronghold. When Claudio Beccaria (1629) died it was given away and sold to Girolamo Dal Pozzo (1650), the family that owned it for a short period of time and it was subsequently sold to the ducal chamber who sold it again in 1692 to Pio Beccaria.
This stronghold was reduced in 1758 and then handed over to the Dattili counts of Voghera in 1792 and subsequently to the Serra family who kept it until feudalism disappeared, it then passed onto the Gatti heirs.