After several years working for more conventional wineries, Chiara Penati and her husband Michele Conoscente started Oltretorrente in 2010 with the purchase of 1.5 hectares of vines.. Both agronomists from Milan who had worked all over Italy, they had several ideas about where to create their own reality and decided on the sleepy village of Paderna, set in the hills of the Tortona region (Colli Tortonesi) in southeast Piedmont, where there are only 30 estates bottling wine. The name Oltretorrente means “Beyond the Stream,” in reference to the Scrivia, a tributary of the Po River, but it could be interpreted as “Countercurrent.” Today, the estate covers 7.5 hectares (7 are owned and 0.5 are rented and fully farmed). The vines range from 15 to 100 years old at altitudes up to 300 meters, with slopes so steep that when it rains too much, their small caterpillar tractor is useless and they have to do the vineyard work the old-fashioned way. Current total production is 25-30,000 bottles, up considerably since 2018, when some new vineyards came on board.
100% Timorasso from the north-facing vineyard parcels of Rampone and Simonelli (2 hectares total), planted between 1996 and 2016 at 300m on silty calcareous soils. Harvest was between September 17th and 19th at yields of 4,000 kg/hectare (about 24 hl/ha) The grapes are whole-cluster pressed. Fermentation was spontaneous with temperature control in concrete vats. In this vintage, malolactic was completed. Aged in concrete for 9 months on the fine lees.