AZIENDA AGRICOLA ANTEO
Quality Wines and Sparkling Wines in Rocca de' Giorgi
Oltrepò Pavese - Province of Pavia
We are really in love with what we do. Our father, a businessman by trade but a poet in his soul, founded the business with a few associates in 1981 , almost as a hobby, on what remained of an old farm property owned by the Church located in the village of Rocca de' Giorgi. We've been so much in love that we bought out the other partners and dived straight into the adventure of producing great sparkling and still wines in an area undoubtedly very well suited to wine production, but often forgotten by wine-lovers today.
The cellars are surrounded by beautiful countryside, steeped in history, next to a sixteenth century church, Saint Michael the Archangel, in a tiny village in the hills overlooking Montalto Castle and the medieval fortress. The road stops here, at an altitude of roughly 380 meters, and makes way for an ancient country path. With woods, thickets and vineyards as far as the eye can see, busy towns and traffic notable for their absence, we enjoy a healthy climate, clean fresh air and a breathtaking landscape.
Our winery is located here and it's named after a figure of classic mythology: Anteo the giant, son of Gaea (the Earth). Anteo fought and soundly defeated all challengers. His strength came from his mother, who filled him with vital energy at every touch. This inspired our father to name the company "Anteo". It receives its energy from its own land: 30 hectares of vineyards located in one of the top Pinot Noir growing areas of the Oltrepò Pavese region.
Antonella e Piero Cribellati
Ovunque io mi volga
sempre ritrovo il filo
che tessuto ha le trame
delle nostre armonie
di piena estate:
Ma anche l’autunno
coi veli delle ombre
che ogni giorno avanzano
sa portare dolci
e succose le vendemmie
ed ha con se i colori
chiari e festevoli
dei giovani cuori
- Trento Cribellati -
(FoUNDER OF Anteo)
FROM THE BOOK "Fuga dal Tempo"
The Oltrepò Pavese, the most important wine-growing area in Lombardy, has a very long tradition of winemaking: in Roman times, the writer Strabone called the area "the land of the people with big barrels". The vastness and complexity of the territory mean there are many different soil types of and microclimates, at different altitudes, each particularly suitable for one variety rather than another. Pinot Noir is one of them, a noble but difficult vine that has been tried and has failed in many a vine-growing region throughout the world. Here the Pinot Noir has found an ideal habitat, so much so that the Oltrepò Pavese area is second only to Burgundy and Champagne for its production.
The Anteo estate is situated east of Rocca de' Giorgi heading towards Valle Versa, in one of the most renowned areas for the growing of Pinot Noir. In the late XIX century a group of French wine experts lead a serious pedoclimatic analysis of the land to begin the growing of the Pinot Noir from French cuttings. All subsequent studies have confirmed the great potential of the Rocca de' Giorgi sub-area for the growing of a top quality Pinot Noir.
The recent "Guide to the Denominazione di Origine Pinot Nero in the Oltrepò Pavese area", published in 2008 by the Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini, has described the peculiar features of the Pinot Noir in each of the Oltrepò Pavese sub-areas in which it is grown.
Several stories about the origins of this noble vine (ancient traces in the Middle East) However, from Burgundy, the Pinot Noir passed to the neighboring Champagne region. It has its name in the small and compact form of "pine cone" bunches.
It is a demanding vine by type of soil and climate. In fact, in only a few areas of the world it can express itself. From France it has found another ideal habitat in the highlands of the Oltrepo'.
This red berry vine is also suitable for elegant vinification in red.
A white grape variety, perhaps derived from Pinot, has its name in a village of Burgundy.
Spread around the world it is an "international grape”. It confers finesse and elegance to the "bouquet". In Anteo there are about 5 hectares in the vineyard "Bellaria".
In Anteo there is only one riesling vineyard, the "Quadro di mezzo". The Rieslig is divided into two categories: "Rhineland Riesling", originating in that region and "Riesling Italico", less characterized by mineral fragrances.
In our vineyard there are both, with the prevalence of the first.
Anteo grows the Pinot Noir with extreme care, always respecting nature. In the '80 we were one of the first producers to leave the ground naturally grassy, which prevents the soil erosion that often leads to pollution of the water table and impoverished topsoil, and also limits production, favouring quality over quantity.
The oldest vines are sparsely planted - about 3,000 plants/ha - giving yields much lower than those allowed by the DOC rules. Gradually these vineyards are being replanted at 5000 plants/ha using specially selected vines. Yields remain low for individual plants, so with more plants we have increased production significantly keeping quality high. Phytosanitary treatments are kept to a minimum: we choose the integrated pest management approach, using only non-synthetic products. Fertilization is organic-only.
During the summer we prune where necessary to favour maturation in the remaining grapes. Towards the end of August, if the grapes have reached the ideal maturity, we harvest them by hand, gathering them in small baskets. Each vineyard is harvested twice capturing the late maturing grapes when they have soaked up the soft rays of the September sun.
Transforming grapes into wine today is the art of combining continuous research, nature and tradition with the most interesting and eco-friendly modern technology. So we continue with the age-old practice of manual harvesting of the vineyards surrounding the winery: this means that the freshly picked grapes go straight onto the conveyor belts and into the horizontal presses where they are gently crushed to extract the juice. This is called mosto fiore, the "flower" of the must, and is placed immediately in refrigerated vats to avoid any possibility of oxidation. Fermentation, which transforms the must into wine, takes place in other vats of varying capacity (so as to compare the results over time).
The temperature is kept constantly under control to retain the primary aromas of the grapes. With this attention to detail and care, we need only very small amounts of sulphur dioxide, an antioxidant that is needed but can have side-effects. The use of refrigeration and the modernity of the big stainless steel vats contrasts and complements the warmth of the small oak barriques that we bring from the Massif Central and the pupitres lined up in the silent beauty of the cellar buried in the hillside. Our work concludes with the care we take in selecting our distributors to ensure the Anteo brand is presented in a professional manner to the end consumer.