The crushing of the grapes and the blending of the wine take place in the early 20th century impressive winery building which overlooks the entire Versa valley from the top of the hills of Montù Beccaria municipality not far from the old village. An accurate renovation of the building which completed in 1998 has brought it back to the previous magnificence and provided it with all the modern equipment for the winemaking of still and sparkling wines
The Cantina di Montù Beccaria was founded on April the 20th 1902 by a a group of winegrowers who decided to make wine from their grapes. They gathered in a cooperative to guarantee the highest quality to the consumers for a traditional product made with the most advanced technologies. That was the first cooperative winery in the area and one of the first in Italy. The winery building has been renovated by the Ottina and Tonalini families, long time winegrowers by vocation, who brought back the building to its original splendor. Let’s have a closer look.
Riccardo Ottina is a real Piedmontese, graduated at the prestigious European School of Sommelier in Alba, moved to Oltrepò for professional reason. He initially worked in technical roles and afterward as Executive Director for the most relevant wineries of the region; at the same time he was involved in the activities of the local organizations for the development and expansion of Oltrepò Pavese wine awarness; he collaborates with grappa tasters organizations, Istituto Talento, The Consulting Office of Versa Valley, The Regional Authority for viticulture, la Frutticultura e la Cerealicultura in Voghera. The passion that animates him is shared by his son Enrico, graduated from the Agriculture Department of the Università Cattolica di Piacenza and a winegrower himself.
Franco Tonalini is a notary of Stradella, but comes from an agricultural family, in fact his grandfather Oreste is among our founding shareholders, and has served for many years on the Board of Directors of theCantina Sociale di Montù. He is the first notary in Italy to be granted a grappa tasters license and he wrote the by-laws for the Istituto Grappa Lombarda and the Istituto Nazionale Grappa. His son Fabio earned his stripes working in the field, so much so that several of vineyards are considered true cru in that exceptional wine area represented by the Oltrepò Pavese. Today, Fabio Tonalini is the administrator of the Cantina Storica di Montù Beccaria and responsible for sales in both Italy and the foreign countries.
Our vineyards extend for more than 100 hectares on the hills of the Valle Versa, in the heart of the Oltrepò Pavese in Lombardy, an area especially suited for the production of high quality wines. All our vineyards are managed following traditional methods, with careful skill and passion. Drinking our wines or our grappas is learning about the terroir the come from.
THE WINES CELLAR
The historical building, with a centennial story of making wine, has all the modern technologies that support the oenologists’ knowledge which, together with the careful management of the vineyards, makes possible to produce superior wines which are the landmark of the magnificent Oltrepo’ Pavese.
THE SPARKLING WINES CELLAR
Pinot Nero (the most suited grape for the production of great sparkling wines) and Chardonnay from our vineyards are the grapes to make and offer excellent both Metodo Classico and Metodo Martinotti sparkling wines. Our selected yeast strains, the long experience of our winemaker, the most recent technologies and the careful control of the ageing on yeast process contribute indeed to the production of excellent sparkling wines within the Italian scenario.
The efficiency of our modern distillery, located within the same building of the winery support us to distillate grapes and marc while they are still fresh, maintaining their natural fragrance. The “bain-marie” batch distillation process made through copper stills results in excellent grappa unfolding its peculiar and amazing characteristic.
The hills of Oltrepò Pavese are located on the right bank of the river Po and it’s surrounded by the provinces of Alessandria, Genoa and Piacenza. It is a diamond-shaped region) formed by thousand hectares of hills covered by an almost continuous pattern of vineyards. The soil and climate are perfect for growing high quality grapes.
Winemaking has been carried out in the Oltrepò Pavese for at least 3,000 years, as it is demonstrated by the imprint of a cluster of grapes on a sandstone rock discovered in the district. Wine trade in Oltrepo was already a flourishing activity in the Middle Ages. Loaded on large boats, the wines were shipped down through the rivers Po and Ticino to the market of Pavia, and then sent to Milan, which represented a major center of consumption.
Oltrepo is Italy’s leading source of Pinot Noir grapes, especially famous for high quality sparklings. Together with Pinot Noir, very good wines are made in Oltrepo. Among red wines it must be mentioned strong Bonarda, Buttafuoco, and Barbera, while white fruity wines as Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Nero vinified in white are getting respect. Also sweet wine Moscato and Sangue di Giuda are noteworthy.