500 years of History in a Glass of Wine
Also known today as Castello degli Oppi, VILLA OPPI began its activity as an ancient Roman Post (a place where travelers could stop for refreshments, change horses and refresh themselves) thanks also to its strategic position along the Via Emilia.
Initially, about 2,000 years ago, the settlement was mainly open to host Roman troops marching towards the borders of the Empire.
In the centuries to come, the "main" activity was also extended to all passing people and travelers; as a result of this the business expanded and in the Renaissance era it had a moment of great growth, witnessed by the oldest wing of the villa in 1524.
All foodstuffs, from wine to dishes, served to passing customers were at “Km 0” including the wine which was the main product.
The name VILLA OPPI derives from the Opium Maple (also called Field Maple) which was used at the time as a support for the vines, (Etruscan technique of the Vite Maritata) in fact those who passed in front of the property could see a large expanse of Opium Maples, which served as a support for the cultivation of vines.
The activity continued until the early 1800s, when Maria Luigia of Austria (second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte) Duchess of Parma and Piacenza, used to stop and refresh herself, during the summer, in the frequent movements between the two cities; for this she decided to buy the house for private use.
Maria Luigia, an enlightened woman in the agricultural field, introduced the first agrarian reform; the Estate also benefited from it with the introduction in the production of new varieties of vines imported from France which in 1820 made it possible to produce the first Bordeaux blend entirely made from grapes grown in Italy, at Villa Oppi.
Below you can see the first wine label used around the sixteenth century. The wording TENUTA OPPI and the denomination PALLIDO are clearly distinguishable (this name probably derives from the fact that it was a wine with a not very intense color, probably deriving from mixing white grapes with red grapes). In addition, customers can be seen drinking wine in front of the Villa and also the motto written in Latin at the time: VINUM NOVUM-AMICUS NOVUS.