Oltrepò Pavese (a small part of Lombardy bordered by the river Po and the regions of Piedmont and Emilia) has an ancient, renowned tradition for vine cultivation and the art of winemaking. The land extends from the Po to the Appennines and is formed of a stretch of plains, backed by a swathe of hill country, and then more mountainous terrain.
Viticulture is concentrated in the hill band, grapes growing to an altitude of approximately 500 metres.
Cultural and environmental considerations, alongside historical and economic factors, have led to widespread cultivation of the red grape varieties barbera, croatina, uva rara and vespolina along the lower, alluvial slopes, and more concentration on whites, most notably riesling, as well as pinot nero on the higher lands, which are rich in marine deposits.
Casteggio is one of the most important viticultural centres in the Oltrepò. It dates back to pre-Roman times and played a significant part in Roman history, its position making it the natural outlet onto the plains from the strip of hillside that descends from Montalto Pavese, which sits just under the Appennines. Casteggio's lands provide excellent conditions for grape-growing, both for the varieties preferring the lower-lying hillsides and for those which do better at higher altitudes.