The Rocchin estate is set close to the ancient Parish of Gavi, dwelling along the medium Lemme riverside valley, a post Romanesque building dating up to 1100 a.C. and ranked from the Italian Superintendence of Art as high value Monument. The Estate owes its name to one of his old owners.
Earlier the oldest estate farmhouse was surrounded by a nut plantation and by a small vineyard that has been gradually left abandoned till 1982 when Bruno Zerbo and his family settled down and built a new unit that gathered living and production. Zerbo's family goal was also to memorize the old historical place and because of this they called their new-born activity with the same name of the place.
At the very beginning the Estate, that spreads out 60 hectares whose 26 vine-cultivated, was devoted to cow breeding and milk production, side by side with vine growing that took more and more importance with new plantings. Then they came to their first bottling line in 1992. According to the area the most important vine variety to be grown is the Cortese, that gives the white Cortese di Gavi or Gavi, that is designated with the highest appellation ranks of DOCG and that boasts its best features in this zone with a perfect soil mixed of limestone, clay and gravels with thin sandy stripes. Side by side, from its Monferrato vineyards the Rocchin Winery sets an outstanding growing of red Dolcetto and Barbera varieties. The Winery is located in the Gavi Municipality one of the most important Italian wine district and whose town has been during the centuries the geographical and historical link between the Piemonte and Liguria, between the sea and the inland and this territory full of art and tradition is easily connected to big cities as Genoa, Turin, Milan and in any case reachable through highways and motorways.
The history of Torraccia del Piantavigna began in 1977 when
the Francoli family planted their first vineyard of Nebbiolo grapes.
The name was established 13 years later. ‘Torraccia’ was inspired both by Ghemme’s eponymous, gentle hill and the ruined tower of the Cavenago castle above the town. ‘Piantavigna’ is the surname of the maternal grandfather of the current generation of the Francoli family. He was a passionate man who spent a lifetime among the vieywards above Ghemme.
lt was 8 December 1958 when Arnaldo Rivera, a primary school teacher from Castiglione who had been a commanding officer in the Resistance (nom-de-guerre “Arno“) and a member of the Liberation Committee in Turin, decided to play the solidarity card, and together with a group of growers form a co-operative. As Matteo Bosco notes with the precision worthy ofthe professor of mathematics that he is:
“It proved to be very hard-going at first, with the opposition of some vintners and brokers who were afraid of losing their monopoly of the market. But with the first harvest due, the 22 founder members had already become 362: many had come to see the co-operative as the only chance they had of continuing to work their vineyards“.