Producer: Antonella Tacci and Raimondo Lombardi
Region: Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy
Located in Lombardy, Oltrepò Pavese is home to Azienda Agricola Martilde. Here in 1991 Antonella Tacci and Raimondo Lombardi decided to leave their jobs in Milan and relocate to this country location. The previous owner had died some fifteen years earlier and the grounds were in a state of abandon, so the couple renovated the buildings and cellars while also replanting some of the vineyards – though they did retain the older vine areas, some up to 90-100 years old.
Oltrepò Pavese (which translates to “beyond the Po River, in the Pavia region”) is home to several local grapes, including Malvasia and Croatina. Martilde grows these, along with Barbera and Pinot Noir, with the help of their oenologist Gisueppe Zatti. Their total annual production is only about 30,000 bottles. Though they could make more wine, they prefer to select only the best grapes for bottling.
The vineyard rows have grassy ground cover which is periodically mowed. No herbicides are used. The soil is only worked in young vineyards for the first two years after planting. Martilde is certified organic, with 3 hectares converting – as such all grapes and treatments applied to them are grown according to organic rules. Each vintage, all manipulations in the vineyard are kept to an absolute minimum.
In the cellar, a similar style of non-intervention is practiced, with the goal at all times to produce the best possible wines that are also compatible with the vintage, using vinification to enhance the inherent characteristics of the grapes. Sulfite use is kept as low as possible. Young wines are vinified solely in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. Wines are left on the skins for 3-4 weeks and malolactic fermentation is spontaneous. Filtering is kept to a minimum for all wines.