The origins of Tenuta Il Bosco at Zenevredo, in the Oltrepò Pavese zone, date back to the Middle Ages, when Benedictine monks restored life to the land here – following a long period of abandonment – by cultivating vines once again. Vines have been grown in the Oltrepò Pavese for a very long time indeed and the first written documents referring to them date back to Pliny and to Strabo who, 40 years before Christ, passing through the area with a Roman legion, wrote about the “good wine, hospitable population and very large wooden barrels”. It was in this zone - also known as “Old Piedmont”- that sparkling wines were first produced in Italy at the end of the 19th century, thanks to the presence of Pinot Noir grapes, an outstanding variety that is particularly suited to being vinified as a white wine and which can yield aristocratic sparkling wines when produced using the Classic Method (with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle). When the property was purchased in 1987 by the Zonin family, there were only 30 hectares of vines. “Year after year we have increased the area under vine. Planting new vineyards is an exciting experience: it is the result of detailed evaluation of the soil and the site, and of research regarding new clonal selections and new training systems. It is also the start of a new cycle, because it means thinking about the particular wine and its special fragrances and flavours that will derive from the new vines” states the estate’s agronomist, Aurelio Lunghini. Today, following years of investments by the Zonin family in the area, the estate comprises 152 hectares of vineyards under family ownership. During this period of expansion, stress has been laid on the great wealth of noble indigenous varieties, such as the extraordinary Bonarda and Barbera, which attain exceptional levels of quality in this zone. But great attention has also been reserved for the Oltrepò’s star cultivar - Pinot Nero - which has expressed all of its class and personality here for over two hundred years.