Bonarda Shelf Talker       Barbera Shelf Talker




Martilde is the creation of Antonella Tacci and Raimondo Lombardi. In 1991 they left their life in Milan working for IBM to start a small winery in the hills of the Oltrepo Pavese in the northwest of Italy. Located in the the commune of Rovescala, long reputed the birthplace of the Bonarda * grape, the estate covers some 15 hectares. While Antonella and Raimondo pay particular attention to Bonarda, they make many types

of wine, some traditional, others innovative. Their labels are delightfully whimsical paintings by Antonella, mainly of their beloved animals. In fact the winery itself is named after two of their cats, Martina and Matilde.

*N.B. The Bonarda dell’Oltrepo Pavese is also known as Croatina, and is believed to be a different grape to the Bonarda Piemontese, which makes a lighter, more supple wine. The Croatina makes a deep-coloured, fruity wine, often with some tannin and a slightly bitter finish. It can be a difficult grape as it is a late-ripener, and can vary enormously in crop size from year to year.

Small production of 4-5000 cases. Old vineyards with low yields (30 hl/ha), replaced vine by vine. A couple of new vineyards planted 5000 plants/hectare. Soil is clay with a little limestone (good for producing red grapes with high sugar levels). The rows between the vines are planted to grass, rather than ploughed, for maximal water management, and a degree of competition for the vines. Minimal treatments applied to the

vines, and no pesticides, insecticides or chemical weedkillers. Besides the signature Bonarda (Croatina) and Barbera, Uva Rara and Pinot Noir are grown, as well as Malvasia and Riesling Italico. Vinifications vary with grape and vintage, but hew to the traditional.

Young Reds

Oltrepo Pavese Bonarda DOC

100% Croatina. While not aged in barrel, it can age in bottle for two or three years. Ruby-colored. Red fruit nose and palate, very frank and


Oltrepo Pavese Barbear DOC

100% Barbera. Purple in color, very round and full, well-defined fruit, no bitterness. For early drinking, like the Bonarda.

Barrel-aged Reds

Oltrepo Pavese BonardaZaffo

100% Croatina. Made for ageing, with tannin and extract.

Barrique-aged Reds

Oltrepo Pavese Barbera DOC ‘La Strega, la Gazza e il Pioppo

A lovely ruby color, having lost much of the original purple. Despite the color the wine tastes fresh, with well-integrated vanilla and toast

flavors. Incidentally the name refers to the scene on the label: Morgana is the ‘witch’ (la Strega) cat, spying on la Gazza (the magpie) nesting in Il

Pioppo (the poplar tree).

Oltrepo Pavese Bonarda DOC ‘Ghiro Rosso d’Inverno

Made from the best and oldest bonarda vines. Remains massive and dark in spite of the barrique. Plump, chewy, with rich fruit and spice and

sturdy tannins. ‘Ghiro’ means dormouse, and is a nickname in Italian for those who like to sleep too much. Raimondo, of course, is the dormouse

on the label.

(Oltrepo Pavese)