Wine in Oltrepò

Oltrepò Pavese: a territory of history and wine production.
Photo gallery
Wine in Oltrepò - Image: 1
Wine in Oltrepò - Image: 2
Wine in Oltrepò - Image: 3
Article description

Located south of Pavia, Oltrepò is a cluster-shaped area that is wedged between Piedmont, Liguria and Emilia. It is the third Italian area, by surface, planted with vineyards and the first in Lombardy, so much so that the medium hill offers a landscape characterized by a succession of countless vineyard plots.

The origins of Oltrepadana viticulture are very distant. Among the first testimonies are those of the Greek geographer Strabo dating back to the early years of AD. The beginning of the cultivation of vines and of vinification seems to be traced back to the Greeks and the Etruscans and it seems that it was the latter who brought them to the Po Valley. In the Oltrepò areas, the Etruscans also carried out a selection of vines, improving their quality. At that time the vines were mostly cultivated by making them "climb" on a stanchion tree. It seems that already in Roman times over 80 grape varieties were known.

In the Oltrepò area, various tools for vinification and storing wine have been found: amphorae, wine vessels and the first Oltrepò glass bottle intended for wine which dates back to the first century AD.

It seems that, during the late Roman Empire, viticulture underwent a notable decline. A revival will take place only after centuries thanks to the monks and the role of wine in the Christian liturgy.

In past centuries, wine played a very important role in nutrition both because it was considered a "food" for its nutritional characteristics and for its antiseptic properties, in fact, it was often used in place of water or added to it, which is often polluted. 

After a few centuries of good development, viticulture, not only in Oltrepò, experienced a serious moment of crisis at the end of the 1800s with the advent of phylloxera which caused the destruction of most of the European vineyards. This problem was addressed and solved by grafting European grapevine varieties on American foot resistant to this parasite. After this period both the Italian and overseas wine heritage was reconstituted.

Currently, Oltrepò is one of the Italian areas most suited to the production of pinot noir vinified in both black and sparkling wine. It is flanked by the classic red grape varieties of Oltrepò: barbera, croatina, uva rara etc. and the precious white grape varieties such as riesling, moscato etc.

[To report any typos/errors, please use the contact form. We appreciate your cooperation.]
Thematic Routes
The Thematic Routes: a set of contents linked together by a theme to discover a territory with a system of suggestions in your hand!
This content is a part of the next thematic routes:
Wine in Oltrepò

One of the main features of Oltrepò Pavese is its hilly landscape largely dedicated to viticulture.
Few people know that this type of crop has very ancient roots in the history of our territory. It is thought that it even dates back to the times of the Greeks and the Etruscans and that it was they who spread it in the Po Valley. Over the centuries, the art of winemaking has established itself more and more in the Oltrepò area, making it, nowadays, one of the largest areas dedicated to grape cultivation.
The production of this region ranges from table wines to dessert wines, from young wines to aged wines which, the result of hard work, delight us with their aroma and flavor.
If you also love wine, discover other curiosities about the viticultural origins of this spectacular area and where to taste it.