La Stoppa, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
La Stoppa is an ancient estate with vineyards stretching along the Trebbiola valley, not far from the river Trebbia, in the province of Piacenza. The estate extends over 52 hectares, 30 of which are planted with vines and dominated over by an elegant medieval tower. Over a century ago, the estate’s previous owner planted French varieties, producing both wines of significance, as well as others of curiosity through the addition of Italian styles: Bordeaux, White Bordeaux and Pinot Noir. In 1973 the estate was acquired by the Pantaleoni family who, within a short space of time, had invested in and restructured the vineyards, as well as renewing the cellar. Today the company is headed by Elena Pantaleoni, with the assistance of winemaker Giulio Armani. The naturally low yields (due to the average age of the vines and poor soil) together with the intrinsic quality of the grapes, have made possible the creation of wonderfully characteristic wines, which reflect their vineyards of origin and speak for themselves without the need for excessive reworking in the cellar. This does not mean that no use is made of modern technology or small barrels. On the contrary. However, these serve to accompany the wine towards its full maturity rather than to falsely modify it in any way. Today La Stoppa produces a limited number of wines: some derived from the local varieties – Malvasia, Barbera and Bonarda, others from historically introduced varieties of French origin such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The objective is to create modern wines without betraying the history and expression of the territory, manifesting themselves through the subtle tones and unique character of the wines produced.