Stefano Berti’s Winery was created in 1963 when my parents bought two holdings of 2 hectares in Ravaldino in Monte on the hills near Forlì. In 1968 two hectares of Sangiovese vineyards were planted and grown until 1985 (one of these original vineyards is still productive).
I took part to the management of the farm in 1982 as an agriculturist but, at the very beginning, I had no idea on how to manage the wine farm and most of the land was fit for sowing. In the half of 80’s, thanks to a regional development plan we made the first investments on the fruit and wine farm (for production of grapes, peaches, cherries and olives). We also planted another vineyard with Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Pagadebit vine species, because, at that time, most wine was produced for the local wine growers’ cooperative and the white wine of Romagna was not considered so much. In the meantime, in 1986 I got married to Renata and started thinking about the chance of increasing the quantity of Sangiovese wine in order to sell it directly to final clients. In the first half of the nineties we planted another vineyard of Trebbiano quality and increased the quantity of Sangiovese to be sold to our private clients.
Meanwhile, the fruit-growing underwent an economic crisis and we started pulling out peach and cherry trees in order to plant new vineyards, such as Sangiovese and the more recent Trebbiano plants as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. In January 1997 my daughter Clara was born so that we decided to improve the investments on our farm as a specialized wine farm: in that period we had already considered the quality features of our grapes and wine but we did not produce a higher quality yet. However, our incomes started decreasing because of the national agriculture crisis. The crisis was not sporadic but structural, so we understood that it was absolutely necessary to have new ideas in order to go on with our farm production and business. We had a new idea while we were reading an ordinary magazine (not technical) and an article about Mr Michele Satta, a vine-dresser of Castagneto Carducci, who had moved from Varese to that area because it was famous worldwide for the Sassicaia wine. Mr Satta had become one of the best wine growers of the area. That’s why we decided to call and meet him in order to know if, in his opinion, it was possible to repeat the same successful experience in Ravaldino in Monte.
Michele accepted our invitation and we become big friends. He came to Romagna many times with the wine-making expert Attilio Pagli. We planned together the grape harvest of 2000 as well as the production of two DOC wines, the Calisto quality produced from the best grapes and the Ravaldo II wine. Since then our wine production has been increasing up to about 40.000 bottles in 2004. We know that a lot of work has still to be done and we’ll have further difficulties to face in the future but, luckily, nature never ceases to amaze us with experiences and changes. Every year wines are different but genuine, thanks to our family’s work and passion.