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Estate Vineyards / AVA
Boccadigabbia was once one of the “one hundred poderi,” or individual farms, that made up the Amministrazione Bonaparte of Civitanova, a vast agricultural estate that for over a century was an influential example of modern, rational agriculture. As in all the Amministrazione farms, in the old Boccadigabbia farmhouse, or casa colonica, one can still see today a venerable ceramic tile bearing the name of the podere and, above it, the Napoleonic coat of arms, a crowned “N.”
Boccadigabbia, located in the contrada, or district, of Castelletta di Fontespina, on the first hills that rise from the Adriatic in the direction of the medieval borgo of Civitanova Alta, covers today almost 10 hectares, all in vineyard. Its favourable southern exposure and the mild, sea-side climate have always given Boccadigabbia the reputation as an exceptional spot for viticulture.
In the late 1960s, when it was decided to exclusively cultivate grapes on the property, the varieties planted were those traditional to the production of local everyday wine; unfortunately, this led to the loss of the older varieties, direct descendants of those planted by Hallaire, Napoleon III’s agronomist-superintendent. To recoup this historic loss, a renovation programme was launched in 1986 to re-plant the French varieties that had been cultivated there, such as cabernet, merlot, and pinot noir; the goal, now reached, was to once again achieve the ancient, proverbial high quality of the Amministrazione Bonaparte grapes.
In 1996, the Alessandri family, owners of Boccadigabbia, acquired another wine estate with ancient traditions, the tenuta Villamagna, located in the fertile Montanello hills near the city of Macerata, in the heart of the Marche, about 25 kilometres from the Adriatic.The archives of the Conti Compagnucci Compagnoni Floriani di Villamagna, early owners of the property and its first viticulturalists, contain a letter sent in 1626 by ancestor Pietro Paolo Floriani to his brother-in-law, who managed his properties in Macerata; in it, Floriani gives very expert and painstaking instructions about planting vines on the Palombara property at Montanello. Pietro Paolo Floriani was an important historical figure--soldier, author, and military architect, who brought renown to Macerata.
This prestigious estate is of crucial importance because of its preservation of local vinegrowing traditions; its vineyards, consisting of some 25 hectares, boast native varieties such as montepulciano, sangiovese, maceratino, and verdicchio.