VILLA OPPI: Known also by the names of ‘Castle of Oppi’, it started its activity as an ancient Roman post station (a building where the traveller would stop to relax, restore and change horses) about 2000 years ago, thanks to its strategic location along the busy Via Emilia, halfway between the cities of Piacenza and Parma. Initially the post station was dedicated to the higher ranking officers of the Roman legions that were transiting to the northern corners of the Roman empire.
At a later stage the post and horse station activities were extended to all travellers on the Via Emilia. Records dating the early 1500s indicate that a VILLA OPPI (Oppi Estate) was very active as an inn. It was common practice at that time that travellers would be served food and produce made directly on the premises, starting with the wine, which represented the main income of the estate. It was precisely from the wine that the estate came to be known as VILLA OPPI, namely because of the many Opium Maple trees that could be seen in front of our winery. These trees were widely cultivated as a live mechanical support for vine shoots, which would be tutored to grow on the tree branches – poles and metal wires were methods introduced much later. This system of tutoring is called ‘married vine’ (vite ‘maritata’).
The post station service continued well until the beginning of the 1800’s, when Marie Louise of Austria (second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), Duchess of Parma and Piacenza, who often stopped here for refreshments during her trips to Piacenza, decided that the building would make a good private residence: it was ideally located and easily accessible from both Parma and Piacenza, and it enjoyed much better privacy compared to her own court in Parma. So she decided to purchase the residence privately. We owe thanks today to Maria Luigia for introducing the first Agrarian Reform, which boosted agricultural development across her domains. The Reform introduced new varieties of vines from France (Marsanne and Cabernet amongst others), and thus Villa Oppi produced the first cut “Bordeaux” ever achieved in Italy in 1820, through a combination of French and Italian grapes. In the picture you can see a reproduction of our first label, used since 1524, a handmade masterpiece showing the original "TENUTA OPPI" logo and the name of the first wine produced at the time, PALLIDO (which translates as “Pale”, a combination of red and white grapes). In the picture you can see the guests enjoying a glass of wine outside the Castle. The motto by the door is written in Latin: VINUM NOVUM, AMICUS NOVUS, which translates as NEW WINE, NEW FRIENDS.
About 100 years later the villa was further renovated: the new design was conceived by Guido Tirelli, a very prominent name in the early ‘900’s Italian architectural scene. Graced with the two new towers, the name was appropriately changed to ‘Castle of Oppi’. In our days, the VILLA OPPI WINE GROUP has become a recognized Brand in the arena of high-quality wine around the world, thanks to the 15 wineries under its control that produce many different varieties of premium Italian wines.
At the moment we have a large range of wines from the most important italian wine’s regions. The distribution is all around the world with more than 30 countries covered.