Our region

Valcalepio derives its name from the Greek Καλοσ Επιασ (Kalos Epias) meaning Sweet and Good soil. In the past this region was known for its fertile soil and mild climate mitigated by the near lake. The vine growing tradition on the foothill part of the region going from Adda river and Oglio river dates back to the Ancient times.

The first proofs of the antiquity of vine growing activity in bergamo go back to Roman Time. Some historians report the data about the plant of vines in Scanzo by Roman soldiers. Bacchus was such an important God to Roman people in Bergamo that they built a special Bacchus Temple in the ancient hamlet of S. Lorenzo.

Plinius wrote that in this region vine growing activity was really developed, especially in the more fitting areas, such as the hills.

When in 596 the Longobards invaded the city, vines were left without their growers and the activity in the vineyards started decreasing. The masters did not think about vine growing as a profitable activity and decided to abandon or reconvert the vineyards to other plantations. Vine growing and wine production found a safe haven in the ecclesiastical properties.

But Bergamo people never failed their love to vines, even in the darkest times. The first act certifying the economic relevance of vineyards dates back to 750. It is a document attesting the transfer of a vineyard below the city walls.

In 1243 Bergamo administration commanded to plant vines along the road going to Seriate and in 1266 the Vertova statute is emitted stating that “those who own three “pertiche” (ancient unit of mesurement) of communal soil in Grumelli and Zereti must plant vines there”.

In 1700 the silk work breeding started to increase and this activity tent to substitute vine growing in the plane region of Bergamo. At a certain point in history wine production reached such a low level that Bergamo needed to import wine for outside region, it was the beginning of 1800.

In 1886 peronospora and oidium reached Bergamo and the vineyards got damaged by both. Bergamo vine growers tough quickly plant new vines and increased the vineyards surface by far. By 1912 vineyards surface was far larger that it used to be and it kept growing until 1940, that is to say World War 2.

Gabriele Carrara described Valcalepio inhabitants as “people hard to overthrow that fight adversities, similar to the olive trees fighting the winds but generous just like their vineyards”.

In 1950 the Chamber of Commerce started investing and promoting innovation in vine growing and wine production. Calling together researchers such as Italo Cosmo, a change in the ampelografic base of Bergamo oenology was ruled. The administration suggested planting Merlot, Barbera, Incrocio Manzoni, Marzemino and Schiava.
When the regularization of the vineyards was done they started thinking about wine production. Two social cellars were born in those years: the first one in Pontida – Val San Martino – started its production in 1959; the second – Cantina Sociale Bergamasca in S. Paolo d’Argon - started its production in 1960.

We want to close this overview on our region and its history with a sentence written by doctor Marengoni. “Wine is the result of a marriage between natural environment and human ability. Bergamo hills and its vine grower could give birth to nothing different than wine such as Valcalepio and Moscato di Scanzo”.

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