The Montelio adventure began more than two centuries ago, at a time when these lands, so well suited for winegrowing, belonged to France.
More precisely—according to the revolutionary calendar adopted in 1792 with the proclamation of the French Republic—it was the 17th day of Floréal, year eleven, which corresponds to May 7, 1803. This was the day that Angelo Domenico Mazza, great-great-great-great grandfather of the current owners, purchased a beautiful property from the nation of France that Napoleon had confiscated from the clergy. The estate comprised the lands and historic grange—as the farm facilities were known—which had previously belonged to the Convent of Santa Maria and Sant’Aureliano since the year 1200. The Benedictine nunnery was founded in Pavia in the 8th century by the nobleman Senatore and his wife Teodolinda. There are rental contracts in the Montelio historical archives dating to 1200 and containing the earliest references to the cultivation of grapes on these hills.
Many other traces of the lives of the nuns and winegrowing on their lands date to the seventeenth century: the wine press still standing under the central portico, which was once the cloister of the convent; the cellar, now used to allow the wine to mellow in the bottle or the reserve wine to age in oak barriques; and the convent’s old ice well, a characteristic octagonal chamber extending seven meters underground, now used as a very suggestive infernot (Piedmont dialect: underground wine cellar dug into the rock) where historic vintages are kept.