The Oltrepò Pavese wine region is located in South Lombardy, south of the Po river. The vineyards are nestled between the foothills of the Apennines and the river, forming an excellent microclimate.
The region is surprisingly beautiful with its breath-taking hills, blooming nature and gorgeous villages.
Oltrepò Pavese is considered the most traditional wine region in Lombardy, and it produces more than half of all wine from the region.
Oltrepò Pavese has 1 DOCG, the sparkling Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico, which was awarded the highest classification status in 2007, and it has many DOC status wines, such as Bonarda dell’Oltrepò Pavese, Buttafuoco dell’Oltrepò Pavese, Casteggio, Oltrepo Pavese, Oltrepò Pavese Pinot grigio, Pinot nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese and il Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepò Pavese.
The viticulture of the region dates back to antique times. The main theory is that the Etruscans brought viticulture to the region in the 6th century B.C.
One of the first written records about Oltrepò wine is from the Greek historian, Strabo, who wrote: ‘good wine, hospitable people and very large wooden barrels’.
However, the real birth of Oltrepò commercial wine production happened in the 1800s with the rebuilding of viticulture following the Phylloxera attack.
Afterwards, the persistent and hard work of Oltrepò’s wine makers resulted in many DOC status wines and in 2007 the prestigious DOCG for the Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico.
There are many beautiful still and sparkling wines in this wine region, which will hopefully gain more and more international attention that they richly deserve.
So if you happen to be in the area or just visiting Milan, don’t hesitate to get a car and go visit Oltrepò, check out some cantinas and taste some of the excellent wines! It will surprise you, I am sure….