Tenuta Il Bosco is at Zenevredo, a small commune in the Province of Pavia, whose name, according to ancient documents, derives etymologically from the Latin “ginepretum”, because of the clumps of juniper bushes that once covered the hillsides.
During the Middle Ages the town was called Zenevredo della Pusterla, thanks to the fact that almost all of its territory belonged to the Monastery of Santa Maria Teodote, which was also known as “della Pusterla” because of a small door (postierla) opened up in the 12th century in the wall surrounding the building, which gave direct access to the world outside, without having to pay any duties.
But what is the history of grape-growing and wine production in the Oltrepò Pavese? It was probably the Barbarians who gave this name to the lands they encountered after having crossed the River Po, descending from the North. Inhabited by Ligurians and Insubrian Gauls, the Oltrepò passed under Roman dominion following the famous battle of Clastidium (present-day Casteggio), which took place in 222 B.C.
Under the Romans the area underwent considerable development, due in part to the construction of major communication routes. At that time, as we learn from the chronicles of Pliny the Elder, viticulture was practised successfully and, as Columella relates, good wines were available for drinking. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was the Barbarians who occupied this area. In the Middle Ages, famous noble and clerical families took turns in holding sway over the region.
The Malaspinas, Viscontis, Beccarias, Dal Vermes and Sforzas controlled the area and wrote the story of the Oltrepò, also leaving a trace of their long-held power in the watchtowers, castles, churches and splendid mansions that one can still admire in the towns and villages around Pavia.
For centuries the Oltrepò was a much fought-over zone. As a result of peace treaties, it passed into the hands of the great powers of the time: France, Spain, and then Austria which, under the reign of Maria Theresa, ceded the Oltrepò to the crown of Sardinia under the Treaty of Worms (1743).
The early studies on ampelography and cadastral censuses carried out towards the end of the 18th century bear witness to the area’s important vocation for wine production and for the significant diffusion of viticulture. At the beginning of the 19th century, after a brief return to French dominion under Napoleon, the Oltrepò once again became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and it was in this period that the vine-growers of Piedmont began cultivating the Pinot Nero variety in the lands to the east of the historic Langhe, Asti and Monferrato zones.