La Stoppa is a 50 hectare property located in northwest Emilia-Romagna. Founded in the late 19th century by Gian Marco Ageno, a wealthy lawyer, the estate is currently run by Elena Pantaleoni and head vignaiolo Giulio Armani. 32 hectares of vines are planted in Barbera and Bornada for red, as well as a small amount of Malvasia di Candia, Ortrugo and Trebianno for whites. Today, the wines produced from La Stoppa are typically Emilian, but this wasn’t always the case; moving forward occasionally means taking a step back.
In 1996, Elena and Giulio decided to replant the entirety of their estate in Barbera and Bonarda, both typical and suited grapes for the region. Interestingly, the prior owner had taken post phylloxera replanting as an opportunity to experiment with noble grapes from around the world but after much reflection, it was decided that these varietals ripened too early and were not resistant enough to the region’s hot climate. It was all Barbera and Bonarda from there.
La Stoppa’s approach to bottling and releasing wine can be described in two words: observation and patience. It is not uncommon for wines to age in barrels for years before bottling, and then many more in bottles before release.