Marcello Cattaneo Adorno is the latest generation of a long established Genoese family dating back to the thirteenth century. His family has long been important in the Genoa region, and among his ancestors were seven Dogi of the Genoese Republic. In 1997, he found himself taking over the family estate at Retorbido in the heart of Oltrepò Pavese.
It had been in the family since 1834 and had always produced Barbera and Cortese. Faced with an estate of ancient vines producing only simple wines for local consumption, it was time to take hard decisions – let things continue to decline or do things properly with a fresh start and lots of investment. He chose the latter.
Today there are 65 hectares of newly planted and revitalised vineyards with plans to increase this to a total of 80 hectares - all carefully chosen sloping sites facing southwards. Marcello has chosen to grow both top quality clones of international varieties like Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah, and also traditional local varieties like Croatina, Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Cortese. These have been bought from local nurseries and planted at much higher densities than is normal for the area.
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