La Stoppa

La Stoppa

Elena Pantaleoni / Rivergaro

The La Stoppa winery is located in Rivergaro, in the Trebbia Valley, in the foothills of the province of Piacenza, in the north-western tip of Emilia-Romagna. In the second half of the 19th century, the lawyer Giancarlo Ageno discovered the wine vocation of this place and started a production of wines for long ageing, mostly from French vines. In 1973, the estate was purchased by Raffaele and Angela Pantaleoni. Since 1991, their daughter Elena has been running it, flanked by Giulio Armani, who has been with the company since 1980, and who has been joined by another 12 valuable employees over the years.

The estate consists of 58 hectares, 28 of which are woodland and the rest are vineyards. Farming is organic and all processing is done by hand by in-house staff. In the cellar, steel and cement tanks are used for fermentation, which takes place spontaneously, without the addition of sulphur dioxide and at room temperature. Long macerations are practised in order to extract everything possible from the grapes and to keep the characteristics of each vintage distinct. The long ageing in oak barrels is necessary for grapes grown on very old, iron-rich and nitrogen-poor red clay and allows the wine to mature slowly and naturally. Long ageing in the bottle is also necessary for the wine to find its balance and be a faithful expression of the terroir from which it comes.

Today, only a few labels are produced, all representative of the place; Trebbiolo, Barbera and Bonarda (from young vines), Macchiona (for a wine of great longevity), Ageno (the company's only dry white wine with long macerations), and finally Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. There is an ongoing wine production project in Chile, called Pisador, from Paìs grapes, over 100-year-old vines in the Maule valley, 400 km south of Santiago.

Lastly, I pay my customers fair prices, sometimes considered low for their dedication, commitment and time, but sufficient to pay their costs, make investments and continue with their business projects.

Culture is the only good of mankind that, divided among all, rather than diminishing, becomes greater. So wrote Hans-Georg Gadamer, the German philosopher. It is a concept that I put into practice every day, sharing what little I know with all those who want to listen, from visitors to the winery, to colleagues, to the interns we take every year at the grape harvest, to the Chilean winegrowers who have a treasure in their hands but no one has ever told them... but that is another story, at our latitudes but in another hemisphere...

Elena Pantaleoni

La Stoppa

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