Villa Oppi started its activity as an ancient Roman post station (a building where the traveller would stop to relax, restore and change horses) about 2000 years ago, thanks to its strategic location along the busy Via Emilia, halfway between the cities of Piacenza and Parma. The post and horse station activities were extended to all travellers on the Via Emilia. It was common practice at that time that travellers would be served food and produce made directly on the premises, starting with the wine, which represented the main income of the estate.
It was precisely from the wine that the estate came to be known as VILLA OPPI, namely because of the many Opium Maple trees that could be seen in front of our winery. These trees were widely cultivated as a live mechanical support for vine shoots, which would be tutored to grow on the tree branches – poles and metal wires were methods introduced much later. This system of tutoring is called ‘married vine’ (vite ‘maritata’).
The post station service continued well until the beginning of the 1800’s, when Marie Louise of Austria (second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), Duchess of Parma and Piacenza, who often stopped here for refreshments during her trips to Piacenza, decided that the building would make a good private residence: it was ideally located and easily accessible from both Parma and Piacenza, and it enjoyed much better privacy compared to her own court in Parma. So she decided to purchase the residence privately.
We owe thanks today to Maria Luigia for introducing the first Agrarian Reform, which boosted agricultural development across her domains.The Reform introduced new varieties of vines from France, and thus Villa Oppi produced the first cut “Bordeaux” ever achieved in Italy in 1820. Actually the VILLA OPPI Wine Group has become a recognized Brand in the arena of high-quality wine around the world, thanks to the 15 wineries under its control that produce many different varieties of premium Italian wines