In Lombardia, on the south bank of Italy’s River Po lies the region of Oltrepò, an area of green rolling hills lying between Piemonte and Emilia. It has been long known for its vine cultivation, almost certainly dating back thousands of years to the arrival of the Greeks from Marseilles to found a colony here. In fact they named the heart of the region Val Staffora from the Greek word meaning “bunch of grapes”.
The bars and restaurants of nearby Milan have traditionally bought most of the wines produced in Oltrepò for their customers, so the wines are little known outside North West Italy. Leading wine writers regard the gentle hillsides of the region as having great potential for quality and Marchese Adorno aims to put his wines and Oltrepò on the world wine map.
Retorbido is on the same range of hills as nearby Piemonte and was once part of its more famous neighbour. The south facing slopes here are warmer than most of Oltrepò Pavese. The Adorno vineyards are in two separate areas. Several plots lie around the village itself on gentle south west slopes overlooking the Padana Plain, at an altitude of 150m to 200m. The alluvial soils here have a high clay content and produce rich, full bodied wines. The second growing area is on the steeper hills of Costa del Sole, at altitudes of up to 350m and the well-drained; limestone soils produce wines of great aromatic intensity and elegance.