The Oltrepo Pavese (antique Piedmont), a sea of vineyards furrowed by waterways, by towns of ancient origins and steeples which emerge from the hills in a splendid repetition and succession of colors, is comparable for its geographic configuration only to Champagne and to Burgundy. "Halfway between the North Pole and the Equator" as the signs along the roads up through the hills say; it is in fact on the 45th parallel, and here is where the longest harvest in Italy takes place: first the Pinot Noir for sparkling wine is gathered, then the reds like Barbera and Croatina (the variety of the greatly appreciated Bonarda). In particular, The Pinot Noir plays a prime role, used in sparkling wines and in the production of fine red wines for aging.
The family-run Torti Company is situated in the triangle formed by Santa Maria Della Versa, Montecalvo Versiggia e Rocca d? Giorgi, and is in an ideal position for the cultivation of vineyards and especially the Pinot Noir grape. The Torti family boasts a long tradition of D.O.C. wine production. Even at the beginning of the century Giovanni Torti possessed vineyards on the hills where viticulture was particularly favourable. His son Enrico continued his work and his grandson Dino, the current owner, has perfected it. Later, the Torti company became larger with the acquisition of a new estate, the Casaleggio.
We seldom think of Pinot Noir and Italy in the same breath. Yet, it has a long and valued history in Northern Italy and is capable of reaching great heights of quality and reverence here. Rarer still is a white wine made from this grape. This is not as odd as it seems. The juice is white. The color is imparted by the skins so if the grapes are crushed without coming in contact with the skins the wine turns out white. This procedure produces a delicate wine of finesse and flavors of apricot and kiwi. A perfect foil for salmon or chicken.
August 2012 Limited Series Newsletter (.pdf)