".... [the] wines have class as well as anima, freshness and bags of personality ...
[and] help to restore Buttafuoco to its glorious past"
- Walter Speller, writing on JancisRobinson.com
A project begun from scratch in 1988 by Andrea Picchioni to recover the traditional, almost-forgotten wines of Oltrepò Pavese, a quiet sub-region of Lombardy, Italy. Historically, the region's top wines - such as Buttafuoco - have enjoyed excellent reputations, although they have suffered in recent times, with many of the area's producers favouring more internationally well-known wines. Happily, the region's hidden potential for producing truly unique, evocative wines is now being brought to light again by the work of a handful of small, passionate winemakers, with Andrea being a leading member of such.
One of the area's earliest winemakers to truly believe in the unique territorial identity of its traditional wines, Andrea started by recovering some selected old vineyards on the steep hills of the Solinga Valley, a renowned site for wine production. His highly-regarded wines today - original, expressive and exciting - are wines of immense personality, reflecting the sheer belief, passion and know-how of one of the area's top winemakers.
"Buttafuoco" (loosely translated, "spitfire") is a lesser-known traditional red wine of Lombardy made from a unique blend of Croatina and Barbera, with a maximum addition of 45% Uva Rara and Ughetta. Fiercely local and proudly unique, a quality Buttafuoco is a wine for the wine lovers, the explorers and the adventurers.
Picchioni's Tre Bicchieri awarded single-cru Buttafuoco 'Bricco Riva Bianca' represents some of the finest this region has to offer: unique, rich but with an innate balance and elegance, this is a wine which is hugely enjoyable now but also capable of providing great drinking pleasure over two decades.
A deep respect for the land is a central pillar in Picchioni's philosophy: this goes beyond the winery's organic certification to:
- the use of organic fertilisers only,
- no-till farming practices to avoid soil erosion and depletion,
- recycling grape marc as compost,
- keeping part of the property under natural forest.
Expressive, exciting wines
The winery draws on a focus on quality and its expertise in the region's native grapes to best showcase the diversity and potential of these lesser-known wines.
Cellar techniques are a mix of tradition (e.g. co-fermentation) and modernity and vary depending on the wines, which in addition to Buttafuoco, include a gently sparkling red wine made in the ancestral method.