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.
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.
Pinot Grigio: The grapes are harvested by hand from vineyards in both Canneto Pavese and the adjacent commune of Castana. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel at a low temperature and the wine is bottled at the end of winter to capture its freshness. Verdi’s Pinot Grigio is a fine, elegant wine of great balance and relatively low alcohol (11.5%).
|Riesling Renano Vigna Costa: This more substantial white is hand-harvested from vineyards at 600 feet or so above sea level in the commune of Castana. Approximately 20 to 25% of the Riesling Renano is fermented in large oak botte; then, the assembled wine is aged for an additional six months in stainless steel. The resulting wine is delicately aromatic with excellent length and freshness.|
|Sangue di Giuda Vigna Paradiso: a unique red wine made from a blend of 65% Croatina, 20% Uva Rara and 15% Barbera, all harvested from the “Paradiso” vineyard. Frequent pumpovers extract color and add body. Fermentation is stopped by filtration, leaving the wine with about 9 grams of residual sugar and an alcohol level of 7.5%. Approximately 16,000 bottles are produced annually, 25% of which are imported into the States.|
|Buttafuoco: a structured, fruity red made from a blend of 65% Croatina, 25% Barbera and 10% Uva Rara. The vineyards are divided into several parcels located in the neighboring villages of Canneto Pavese and Castana. After manual harvesting, the grapes are destemmed and undergo a two-day cold maceration; then, there is a brief fermentation period with a series of remontages which results in a wine of substantial concentration but with very gentle tannins.|
|Cavariola Rosso Riserva: the winery’s greatest cru, from a vineyard on a sharply-angled (35%), west-facing slope with well-drained sandy clay soil. Made from a blend of 55% Croatina, 25% Barbera, 10% Uva Rara and 10% Ughetta di Canneto. Fermentation takes place in small 20 hectolitre wooden vats and lasts about 15 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels, 1/3 of which are new, 2/3 one year old. The wine is then aged an additional 18-20 months before being bottled without filtration. Annual production averages 4500 bottles and 300 magnums.|