On November 11th 1964 a document bearing the seal of the municipality of Montecalvo Versiggia was laid on the desk in front of Luigi Calatroni. That sheet of paper would change his life forever: and he was just a signature away from that crucial turning point!
The document was a contract that transferred ownership of the Casa Bella estate from the Vecchietti family to Luigi. Like the previous four generations of the Calatroni family, Luigi grew wonderful Pinot Noir grapes as a mezzadro until 1964. A mezzadro was a vine-grower who paid the rent of the vineyards in kind, giving to the landowner half of the produce (and, you know, for vine-growers grapes are like their children…).
So, after years spent in the heat and in the rain taking care of his vines, after surviving the disastrous Russian campaign in the Second World War and at the end of an adventurous journey back home, Luigi (nicknamed Vigiö d’la Cà Bela) finally acquired his own plot of land in the Versa Valley. At the end of his life, he proudly handed down the Calatroni vineyards to the next generation.
Now let’s look at the present day. Many things have changed over the years: tractors are now near perfect hi-tech machines, wine-making technologies have known spectacular developments and the whole conception of wine have evolved into something radically different from the old one.
It’s noon. The air is filled with an inviting fragrance of agnolotti from the kitchen: mamma Marisa calls everyone to the family table… “Lunch is ready!”. Fausto gets off the tractor, inspecting the pipe to make sure there are no oil leaks, Cristian comes out of the ageing room after carefully checking each barrel, while Stefano, back home after a round of deliveries, says to the girls in the office “Come on, the food is on the table!”.
The family is now gathered around the table ready to taste the steaming agnolotti and to open a bottle of Pinot Noir. But, while we eat and do the usual chit-chat, a thought always crosses our minds… Would all this be possible if Vigiö wasn’t so determined to make his dream come true?