The Verdi family can trace its viticultural origins back seven generations to the 18th century, when Antonio Verdi came from Parma to settle in the Oltrepò Pavese. The original farm was founded on wheat and corn production; mulberries were grown for the leaves, used for feeding silkworms; and, of course, grapevines were planted. Luigi, of the third generation of Verdis, was the first to transform the family’s grapes into wine. However, it was Bruno who, after World War II, was the first to bottle his wine at the estate. He put his own name on the label and Bruno Verdi wines were born. His son, Paolo, now carries on the tradition skillfully bringing the estate into the modern era.
Verdi’s vineyards are spread over four separate plots of land on the hillsides surrounding the village of Canneto Pavese which itself is located in the hills immediately south of the towns of Broni and Stradella. The cantina is situated in the hamlet of Vergomberra within the limits of Canneto Pavese.
Sylvain works a diverse group of parcels totaling 17 ha, planted to 14 different varietals scattered throughout the region.
Cavariola is the winery’s greatest cru, on a west facing slope with well-drained sandy clay soil. Croatina, Uva Rara, Barbera and Ughetta di Canetto are grown here and go into the Oltrepo Rosso Riserva “Cavariola”. Only Barbera is grown in the sandier soils of the Campo del Marrone vineyard, the closest to the winery. Vigna Costa and Paradiso are located farther from the winery where the soils contain more limestone. This terroir of Vigna Costa is particularly suited to white grapes and is the source of the Riesling Renano. In the Paradiso vineyard, the Verdi family planted Croatina, Uva Rara and Barbera, all three of which are used to produce the enchanting “Sangue di Giuda”. The Casa Zoppini vineyard is a recent acquisition. Pinot Nero is the sole variety grown there, where it does well on the northeastern facing steeper slopes. In addition to their own vineyards, Verdi also purchases grapes from several small local growers, several of whom are family members.
Paolo Verdi has instituted an extensive program to modernize the winery based on the strong belief that the Oltrepo Pavese can produce world class wines. His winemaking philosophy combines the best of the classic methods with modern oenology to create wines with the distinctive features that bring out the best in the local grape varieties. All the grapes are harvested by hand into small lugs to prevent crushing and bruising.
No herbicide, only organic fertilization since 2012, synthetic treatments only when necessary
Annual ploughing to maintain vineyard health
Sand, silt, and limestone-clay
Trained in Guyot and planted at 4,500-6,000 vines/ha
Controlled through pruning, debudding, and green harvesting
Exclusively manual, usually mid-September
Purchases from several small-scale, neighboring
growers, many of whom are Verdi family memebers
Most wines ferment spontaneously in stainless-steel tanks, with selected yeasts used only when necessary.
Red wines are completely destemmed. Sangue di Giuda undergoes secondary fermentation in Autoclaves.
Red wines see pumpovers during cuvaison
Pneumatic pressing for red wines, pneumatic, whole-cluster direct pressing for white wines
Spontaneous, following alcoholic fermentation for red wines; blocked by temperature for whites.
Varietal wines and Buttafuoco spend up to 6 months in stainless-steel tanks. Cavariola spends 20 months in French barriques (25% new) and 8 months in concrete vats.
White wines are racked off their lees following fermentation to preserve freshness.
FINING & FILTRATION
White wines and Sangua di Guida see sterile filtration.
30-60 mg/l total sulfur