On February 7, 1996, The Club of Buttafuoco Storico was born from the union of eleven young winemakers:
Bruno Barbieri, Davide Brambilla, Giuseppe Calvi, Valter Calvi, Claudio Colombi, Ambrogio Fiamberti, Stefano Magrotti, Franco Pellegrini, Andrea Picchioni, Umberto Quaquarini, Paolo Verdi.
The intent is to collaborate in the research of historical characteristics, in the selection of the most suitable vineyards, in controlled production and in the promotion of Buttafuoco wine.
An important challenge without unconsciousness, but with the conviction of being able to wage war on equal terms with the great Italian and international wines.
A completely new adventure for the Oltrepò: getting to have the traditional wine paradoxically new, conceived and created with unusual criteria for our cellars, where the safest parameter for the quality of the wine was always the ability to explode in a compact foam just to pour it. It is therefore difficult to think only of a still wine, still in its austerity, how difficult it is to convince oneself to produce less, to break down the redundant grapes, and how it is even more difficult to submit to the judgment of those who alone will have the right to judge the fullness compliance of the wine with the rules of the Club, to be able to present it as a worthy member in all respects.
On March 5, 1996 the statute is registered, which binds members to produce Buttafuoco according to strict internal regulations.
The mark adopted consists of an oval, re-enactment of the typical Oltrepò Pavese barrel, supported by the word Buttafuoco and from which two red ribbons represent the two streams, the Versa and the Scuropasso, which delimit the historical production area; inside the silhouette of a sailing ship driven by burning sails to remember that in the second half of the 1800s, the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy launched a ship called “Buttafuoco”.
Legend has it that the name is the memory of a battle lost by a company of imperial sailors, commanded to ferry operations on the river Po near Stradella and later used on our hills in the war against the Franco-Piedmontese. A local wine called Buttafuoco was more successful than the fire of the battle in attracting to itself the bold sailors, who, in a large cellar, made slaughter of barrels and bottles.
The Buttafuoco Storico takes its origins from the watershed ridge between the Versa and Scuropasso torrents, in the first hilly area of the Oltrepò Pavese called “Sperone di Stradella”.
The multi-millennial vocation of this territory to the cultivation of the vine and to the production of wine is well known.
There are numerous classical and modern authors who deal with the wine history of this area, linking it to the favorable geographical position that forced the leaders, pilgrims and merchants to cross it.
It is precisely the passage of these people that allowed a commercial outlet to the wine produced here and enriched the local viticulture over the centuries, making it one of the most important in Italy.
Documents of 1700 attest on the spur of Stradella the production of very strong red wines by the antesignan of Buttafuoco, which lent themselves well to accompany the tables of the nobles and monasteries of Pavia and Milan.
Between 1700 and 1800 the Milanese dialect poet Carlo Porta attributed the name Buttafuoco, in the dialect “Butafeug”, to a wine coming from the hills of Stradella of great body and alcohol, which almost burnt the mouth.
Another anecdote between history and legend linked to Buttafuoco is the account of an event that happened in 1859 during the second war of independence. Peter Schenk tells that a company of Austrian sailors engaged in ferrying troops on the river Po, at the time of going to battle on the mainland had deserted and, instead of enemies, had slaughtered barrels and bottles of a local wine called Buttafuoco. The writer ties this story to the fact, instead actually happened, that the Austrungarica marina after a few years launched a ship calling it “Buttafuoco”.
It is from this story between myth and reality that on 7 February 1996, when some winemakers decided to join in re-evaluating this prestigious wine, they adopted the sailing ship as their symbol.
The History of the Sailing Ship
The history of the Sailing ship present in the Trademark of the “Club del Buttafuoco Storico” Consortium stems from an anecdote between history and legend … the report of an event that occurred in 1859 during the second war of independence in the famous Battle of Montebello near Casteggio.
The Austrians who fought against the Piedmontese were located in the area between Broni and Stradella with headquarters of the headquarters at Palazzo Isimbardi, about forty sailors arrived from the Imperial Regia Marina, with the task of assisting the bridges in the construction and in the ferrying of the Austro-Hungarian troops on the Po river.
When the battle became complicated for the Austrian troops, the generals Urban and Julai ordered a department of the Imperial and Royal Navy Bridge Crew, 39 men commanded by a Guardiamarina, to come and fight in the hills of the Oltrepò to give strong man to the troops.
According to Peter Schenk these sailors “mysteriously” lost themselves at the very beginning of the war operations; at first it was thought that their disappearance was caused by a gun battle with the Piedmontese or with the numerous smugglers in that border area, so the Austro-Hungarian General Staff decided to start the searches of the disappeared sending departments of Hussars to horse in the vicinity of Stradella, the sailors were found the next day safe and sound but completely drunk in a cellar on whose barrels was written the name of the “deadly” wine: BUTTAFUOCO.
The legend now goes to a fact that really happened … the writer Peter Schenk tells us that in 1872 the Imperial Navy launched the gunboat “Erzherzog Albrecht” and that the same after thirty years of activity on March 31, 1908 was radiated; in memory of that excellent wine drunk by the sailors in Oltrepò 60 years earlier it was renamed “Feuerspeier” (in Italian Buttafuoco), the new mission of the ship was registered as a pontoon to be used as accommodation for the students of the Artillery School of Pola.
In 1916 with the increase of the Submarine Fleet it was adapted to the Submarinement of the numerous German U-Booteers operating in the Adriatic.
In 1920 it was delivered to Italy, which took it to Taranto and gave it the name of “Regia Nave Buttafuoco”, continuing to use it as a ship-barracks for submarine crews of the IV Group.
Later it was given the acronym GM64. In 1947 he was still in the arsenal of Taranto, where he was finally demolished in 1955, after 83 years since the launch.
From this story between myth and reality that on 7 February 1996, when some winemakers decided to join in re-evaluating the prestigious Buttafuoco wine, they adopted a ship in their symbol or rather the sailing ship.
For the production of Buttafuoco Storico only those vineyards are allowed that historically have produced high quality buttafuoco over the centuries, positioned within the “historic area” and registered in the register of the CCIAA with their traditional name.
All cultivation practices must aim to achieve the highest quality and respect for the environment. The accepted farming forms are only those with ascending vegetation.
Buttafuoco’s blend is made exclusively from grapes from the Oltrepò: Croatina, Barbera, Uva Rara, Ughetta di Canneto.
The harvest can not be carried out before the date established by a specific campaign commission and must be strictly manual with careful selection of the grapes.
The vinification of the grapes must take place in a single vetch and the result of this practice can no longer be changed.
Buttafuoco aged in oak wood for at least twelve months must reach the typology of the great red wines: full and strong, with great body and structure, warm in taste and aromas.
Subsequently finished in the historic Oltrepadana bottle for at least six months on which the brand of the Club is stamped.
As a further guarantee a vignette will be applied which will show a progressive number and the vintage fires.
The minimum score required for wine to be able to boast of the brand, will be eighty cents according to the card
of the Union International des Oenologues and will be expressed by a cellar commission.
Based on the last tasting, the ranking of the vintage expressed in fires is established:
from 80/100 to 85/100 three fires
from 86/100 to 90/100 four fires
from 91/100 to 95/100 five fires
from 96/100 to 100/100 six fires
The Buttafuoco Storico can be presented to the public and put on the market starting from midnight on the second Sunday of November, after three years from the harvest.
Fr.ne Vigalone 106 – 27044 Canneto Pavese (PV) – C.F. 93005850180 – VAT number 02054090184