La Stoppa was purchased by the Pantaleoni family in ?73. The daughter, Elena, a dedicated, intelligent and passionate young woman, has taken over the estate and she, together with an enthusiastic young enologist, Giulio Armani, are making La Stoppa as well known and as sought after as any Italian designer suit. On the hills surrounding the beautifully restored villa are 24 hectares (59 acres) of vineyards which consist of a carefully cultivated selection of varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet, Pinot Noir as well as local varietals such as Barbera and Bonarda.
In the cellars, modern stainless steel tanks for temperature controlled fermentation stand along side of the traditional oak casks and new and old barriques of imported wood where experiments involving blending, aging and fermenting are constantly being conducted to achieve the perfect balance of taste, bouquet and body for each of the various varietals.
Stoppa, Macchiona and Alfeo are the 3 standard bearing reds of the estate. Stoppa is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc with a small percentage of Merlot. It is aged in small barriques and its elegance and depth make it worthy to carry the estate name. Macchiona is a blend of 70% Barbera and 30% Bonarda. It is aged in large oak casks and is full of chocolate and cherries. La Stoppa has taken the regional blend normally used for making the sparkling Gutturnio and given it a new prestige through aging. It is a noble example of their use of traditional and new technology. Alfeo is a Pinot Noir and is a blend of 40 year old vines and new vines. It is aged in small oak barriques for 8 months. Elena travels frequently to Burgundy, California and Oregon to research clones and wine making techniques for this difficult grape. Veronelli, Decanter, Wine and Spirits, Etichetta among other magazines have been raving about this wine which has varied much from 1986 to the 1991 vintage, accumulating diverse fans with each change.
Another red from this estate that deserves particular note, is their Barbera. This deep, vibrant ruby-colored wine with its heady bouquet and rich extract is only slightly tamed by barrique.
There is little doubt that with the dedication of Elena Pantaleoni, the skill of Giulio Armani and the outstanding quality of the grapes themselves, La Stoppa is destined to become one of the premier estates of Italy.