Our vineyards are situated on the Muscoline and Polpenazze del Garda hillsides and blend perfectly with the local landscape, creating breath-taking juxtapositions. However, for us, those lands represent all the passion we have for grapes. We respect the pact we made with nature, we savour the outcome of the work, the smell of must fills the air and we observe the result of an ageless tradition.
Wine is art because it contains the history of a people, culture, tradition, expresses the essence and passion of a job. From this premise, we are committed to creating a product that transmits emotions, evokes feelings to those who come into contact with them. Savoring Bottenago wine means letting yourself be carried away by feelings of ecstasy and serenity.
The Muscoline vineyards are situated in the Brassina district. The specific features of the land, with its particularly rocky soil as well as the hill formation close to Lucone, characterise our white wines and define their distinctive traits.
This body of land is distinguished by a high variability both as regards the characteristics of its soil as well as its gradients. More generally speaking, this area is characterised by the presence of rejuvenated, coarse-grained soil, rich in rock fragments and organic matter. It is mainly situated in the morainic hillsides dating back to the Würm ice age suggestive of the Solferino stage, consisting of eroded moraine ridges and by anti-moraine valleys (fluvial-glacial deposits). In this environment, the erosion and deposition processes alongside the anthropic changes have affected the original soil cover differentiating it into soil types with somewhat contrasting characteristics also within short distances. Basically, we have a marked variability of the land; in fact, there are portions that are particularly rich in rock fragments, with a coarse, scarcely calcareous texture alternating with portions that are lacking in organic matter while they are extremely calcareous yet on the surface. Even by moving only a few metres, we can find mature, profound soil with a sandy, gravelly loam. Generally, we can speak of land fit for wine production purposes as it is rich in rock fragments, with a sandy loam and a good availability of limestone. In all these soil types, the low fertility levels, a high transpiration deficit during the summer ensure productions of the utmost quality.
Gentle hills, large clearings, the fertile vigour of lands rich in an agricultural past, a cradle of history dating back to Roman times and which has never been subdued, a past characterised by vineyards narrated by countless names recalling their origins.
According to the Geological report of the Government Plan relating to the territory in the Municipality of Polpenazze del Garda, its soil types derive from gravelly, sandy fluvial-glacial and morainic ridge deposits. The maps drawn up may not have correctly identified the soil on the company premises situated on the western slope of the Bottenago moraine that, due to its characteristics, seems to originate from fluvial-glacial deposits. According to the zoning activities carried out by the company, the soil is rich in organic matter, with its depth restricted by an extremely calcareous substrate, with a coarse texture, particularly rich in rocky fragments. This soil (Typic Hapludoll loamy skeletal, mixed, super active, mesic) can be attributed to the TIR1 soil specified on the ERSAL Soil Map, consisting of a thin, horizontal surface area, rich in organic matter that rests directly on the unaltered substrate, with both an abundance of rocky fragments and a coarse texture that limits root growth. In all likelihood, this derives from the recent cultivation of woodland areas (from which the wealth of organic matter on the surface derives) on eroded morainic deposits. It also has a rich stony surface.
Coins, necklaces and objects used in daily life dating back to the Roman age have been found on the soil in the Bottenago area. Some of these, more than others, have aroused the imagination of the Brescia tradition, giving life to legends and superstitions. An example of this relates to the mosaic tiles that the farmers, when ploughing the land, had inexplicably scattered over the years and which inspired the mystery of the great marble cross.
The story goes that the surface soil in a field was studded with “cubes” of white marble and some farmers from Bottenago were curious to find out what was hidden beneath these. Equipped with picks and spades, they started to test the ground in pursuit of a few artefacts. Subsequently, they came across something extremely hard and, taken by the burning desire to discover what it was, they extended their digging. Before their very eyes was a great, white marble cross that was so perfect and sophisticated that no human hand could have ever sculpted it. Their excitement soon changed to anguish, aware that they had carried out an act of profanation. Therefore, they hurried to bury it once again, swearing to maintain the secret relating to the place where it was found forever. The meaning this cross had is unknown, however, it is said that someone tried to find it once more, yet every attempt to do so has been in vain.
From the words of Claudio Fossati, a historian from Salò, we learn about the legend of Lake Lucone, to which tradition has given a mysterious ending.
In a basin surrounded by woody slopes, probably the crater of a volcano, there was a small lake, beside which there was the church of San Pietro in Lucone. It is said that once, in the middle of the lake, appeared a palace in which libation, lust, intoxication, obscene dances with semi-naked women enriched the days of the characters who gathered there, who devoted their time to hunting, social events and scandalous vices. Shocked by so much sinning, the Rector of San Pietro’s church prayed to God begging him to put an end to this behaviour. Therefore, He sent His angel to warn an old lady, who was gathering firewood in the woodlands near Brassina, to go back where she came from and to no longer look at the palace, as Divine Justice was about to descend on it. However, taken aback, she turned around to look at it, resting her hand on a huge morainic boulder to help her bear what she struggled to believe: the palace sunk deep into the lake among flames and boiling tar. Yet, since she had disobeyed our Lord, she also died together with the sinners. The local tradition states that her handprint remained deeply impressed in that boulder, as proof of divine retribution. People have searched in vain, in the woodlands, for the large morainic boulder with the impressed handprint.
“Since then, the lake brings stones, tiles, vases and stones with mysterious words engraved, urns, lanterns and everything that belonged to this sunken building to its shores, because all that fire has not destroyed, must be scattered by the farmer’s plough and spade”.
Some historians believe that the place name “Valtenesi” derives from Vallis Atheniensis, attributable to the allocation of Athenian colonies, while others say that it dates back to the origin of the ancient Parish church, known as Tenense, which gave its name to the entire surrounding territory. What is certain is that the area is rich in history, as well as its vine cultivation tradition, present throughout the local area since ancient times. The hillside area on the south-western side of Garda is famous for the production of fine wines and oil, its position and locations of historical interest.
Bottenago is a hamlet in the municipality of Polpenazze del Garda and it boasts a surface area measuring approximately 162 hectares.
Archaeological evidence shows that the territory was Roman farmland, flanked by a building complex that, from via Gallica, lead to the Salò coast.
A historical step of the utmost importance for the development of the south-western coast carried out by the Romans who, in order to facilitate the transit of goods, magistrates and armies, constantly created communication channels.
Among these, the strategic role played by via Gallica that crossed Transpadane Gaul and was lapped by the Benaco lake. In fact, as from 388 B.C. several Gault tribes crossed the Alpine passes in pursuit of lands to till and to cultivate and they mainly settled in the Po Valley.
The concept of terroir cannot be attributed to the mere concept of territory or land. This French term recalls an area in which the activity together with weather conditions, the soil bearing capacity, altitude, exposure, tradition as well as the work of man make it possible for a wine to be identifiable. This is a tangible, real, concrete concept that is reflected in the cultural dimension of the resident community. For the Cantina Bottenago, “terroir” means capturing the essence of wine, cultivating healthy soil, growing fine plants, having passion and love for the culture of the local territory. It is the importance of creating a wine that reflects the territory, thanks to unique, recognisable characteristics.