The first crops in what is now known as Oltrepò Pavese were introduced by the Ligurians, who gathered cereals and grapes here. The vine was already present in the period between the end of the bronze age and the start of the Iron Age: proved by the tremendous amount of vine seeds found in archaeological excavations.
However, it was necessary to build the road network, carried out by Romans to develop the area.They handed down to us a viticulture that was already advanced, as evidenced by the writings of illustrious authors: the vine was present on the hills between Casteggio and Retorbido (Pliny the Elder), the wine was stored in huge barrels such as had never been seen (Strabone), the area was characterised by good wines, lovely girls and hospitable people (Columella).With the fall of the empire, the barbarian populations occupy the territory and immediately learn to appreciate the "liquid" that was dear to the gods: a pity that some had questionable tastes in their choice of chalice (see Alboino).The king loved to spend the summers in the palace of Casareggio (municipality of Codevilla) and legend has it that in his service was a certain Bertoldo, an indisputable symbol of the man of the vineyards who knew how to keep his head, thanks to his wisdom and peasant cunning, and the passage-ways of the Longobard king's palace.
Come the Middle Ages and the vine becomes more and more important surrounding towers, bell-towers and castles and cheering the palate of clergy and nobility:The Malaspina, Visconti, Beccaria, Dal Verme and so on to the Sforza dynasties are also to be found in the wine-oenological field.From this era is the abbey of Sant'Alberto di Butrio, an oasis of peace and beauty: few perhaps know that Alberto, a playful and reactionary hermit, will go down in history for transforming water into wine.
An early agricultural settlement was established in the area of Torrazzetta by the feudal landowners of Rocca Susella, who were called Ruino Della Rocca, and in 1336 built on a small hill, where now stands the typical village of Torrazzetta.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century the place was purchased by the noble Giacomo Cattaneo of Milan, which in 1636 replaced Giovanni Battista Paleari; to them we owe an early reconstruction of Torrazzetta and a significant increase in the population.
It is the year 1743 (Treaty of Worms) and Oltrepò, with Voghera as capital, becomes the province of Savoy, and here is the first study of the local ampelography and the first land registry cencus which shows the vast area given over to the vineyards and the great wine-making tradition.
When In 1814 Count Luigi Paleari died he was succeeded by the princes of Centurione Scotto, of the ancient noble lineage of Liguria.It was Stefano Centurione Scotto who built the grandiose palace and much of the rustic buildings that today make up Torrazzetta, already playing a part in the life of a thriving and multi-faceted agricultural community.
1815: after the French period, Oltrepò returns to the Kingdom of Sardinia and, by the end of the century, powdery mildew and downy mildew arrive from North America to upset the work of the wine-makers and, even worse, the phylloxera will bring the 20th century to a close, with the destruction of the vineyards.
1883: The construction is completed of the agricultural part of Torrazzetta, today the Company Agricola Torrazzetta, as shown on the fresco inscription still visible above the door of the entrance.
1894: The property of Torrazzetta reached its maximum extension under the ownership of Marquis Ademaro Serra, who bought it in that year.
After the First World War, which changed the socio-economic conditions throughout Europe, a company structured according to the nineteenth-century economic laws could no longer survive: the property was broken up and acquired by farmers who cultivated their new possessions.
1934:The company becomes that of a family
The largest part of Torrazzetta farmland (then 29 hectares) was purchased by Giuseppe Fiori, great-grandfather of the current owner, a farmer who was already cultivating those areas.Later, due to the call to arms for World War II, responsibility passed into the hands of the young son Carlo, father of the current owner, EngineerFranco, who turned the focus mainly to grain opening up the acreage to orchards but especially to vineyards.
It was then that a well-built winery was built that could completely transform the grapes produced on the farm.Subsequently, starting from the end of the 40's the winery was constantly expanded and modified to meet the company's production needs, the growing number of labels produced and to bring it into line with new production technologies.
1984: Torrazzetta suffered another radical conversion.The epochal change that began in those years has also affected agriculture: the sensitivity of Franco and his wife Gianna to the issues of the safeguarding of the terrain, the defence of the environment, the protection of the health of consumers, the continuation of a peasant culture rich in traditions and knowledge of food production and preservation techniques led the Torrazzetta farm to practice organic farming.
Today, more than 30 years later, the children of Gianna and Franco: Paulo, Sergio and Giulia, are dedicated to carrying on the family Tradition and Passion.