The history

Two brothers born in Milan with a mother from the town of Vigolzone in the Piacenza Province and a father from Milan.
Destined for following their father’s footsteps, they were both to become doctors.
They had no real passion for the medical profession, but started their studies in the hopes that sooner or later the passion would come.
But a passion for wine began building in Stefano at the age of seventeen years old, and he participated in his first wine tasting classes with the Italian Association of Sommeliers when he turned eighteen in 1978, during an era when the culture of wine in Italy was still in its early stages.
Over the following years he would attend different levels of the courses, when purchasing and sampling wines, visiting wine cellars and studying aromas became his daily bread.
In the meantime, in the mid 1970s, he purchased a home in the Piacenza hills in his mother’s hometown.
Ferruccio had a real passion for the country life he lived on weekends and never really adapted to life in the city.
He purchased two parcels of land adjacent to the house in 1980, one of which also had an old farmhouse for sale named La Tosa, which he bought based on the entire family’s desire to start a farming business as a hobby.
The vineyards had been present in those lands since the 1960s, and the family cared for them on weekends with the help of a nearby farmer.
Finally, in 1984, seemingly from one day to the next, Stefano and Ferruccio decided to transform their hobby into a profession, and to dedicate themselves fulltime to winegrowing.
The family then moved permanently to La Tosa, Stefano enrolled in the Agricultural University of Piacenza, and they began renovating the old farmhouse and building a new wine cellar.

In 1985, the family produced their first wine: one thousand bottles of Gutturnio, so few because a powerful hailstorm that year had ruined most of the grapes.

After the death of their father in early 1987, Stefano and Ferruccio accelerated the construction works underway. At that time the terrain was almost exclusively dedicated to the production of light and sparkling wines, but the brothers committed to exploring what they considered was the true vocation of their land, producing deeper, more concentrated wines, almost all still varieties, and continued to expand upon their knowledge of the land and the world of wine in general.

In 1988, Stefano spent an entire year in Franciacorta, at Cà del Bosco with the Zanelli family, working and learning: it was also thanks to this experience that for the very first time in the Piacenza Province that same year, La Tosa implemented techniques including leaf thinning and other vine treatments.
Subsequently, for several years Stefano gained extensive experience in France (Bordeaux, Alsazia, Loira, Borgogna, Linguadoca, and Province), visiting wine cellars and attending courses at the University of Bordeaux and the INRA of Montpellier.
In particular, he gained experience in the La Tosa vineyards and cellar, with many tests, research, errors, changes of course and focus on the identity of his own area, objectives and a style that could combine these.
Over the course of these nearly thirty years, much work was dedicated to spreading the word about this territory and its wines.
There are many people, including journalists, restaurant owners, wine merchants and wine enthusiasts who have contributed to making the La Tosa name so well known.
Our history could be summed up as: pure passion that became a profession, from a well-nurtured passion. A story that continues with the same spirit as the very first grape harvest.

The philosophy

For us, producing wine is not a creative act as much as an interpretive act. Its soul and its characteristics are already imprinted in the book of nature, and the pages are pieces of the territory. It is up to us to flip through the pages and find the right one, and then translate it and finally interpret it. But without preconceived ideas about what we want that wine to become, without modifying its very essence. Just like a parent with a child: raising the child so that he can have all that he needs to express himself with his own personality, attitudes, character, not according to the personality of his parent.
This influences all of our productive choices. Because we cultivate each vine differently from the next, based on its specific characteristics: Sauvignon is a Nordic grape variety, so we cultivate in a way that ensures that bunches of grapes are sheltered from heat and light, and since Malvasia is a Mediterranean grape variety, we make sure that the grapes have contact with sun and heat.
And similarly, every wine we produce is produced differently: Vignamorello, the physically exuberant child, rich in color but not so much in tannins, because of the Barbera grapes, it spends only a brief time in wooden barrels, lending it spicy notes, while Luna Selvatica, the more studious child because of its rich phenol content, spends an entire year in wooden barrels.
And we face each year differently, since each is a world unto itself. Paraphrasing what a famous chef once said about creating avant-garde: know everything and forget everything. 
The guiding principles that we are inspired by and aspire to are balance, seriousness, rigor, simplicity, controlled anxiety.

Considering every aspect of what we do, always remaining open to all stimuli and innovation, anxious but at the same time with a clear direction in mind, keeping in mind that truly nothing is what it seems, staying rigorous, not taking any details for granted, reading and interpreting nature with purity and simplicity. And finally, balance, never perfectly reached but constantly sought after: balance in all of our decisions and balance with nature, whose soul must always be respected, with constant good health, and an identity read and revealed in all of its actions.
All of this to obtain a wine that is in harmony with its own parents (the land, climate, grapes and yeasts), with us, with those who drink it, a wine that because of the characteristics of our territory and our way of working is rich, concentrated, deep, complex, long-lived, but which never forget that they are from Emilia, so also immediate, solar, harmonious, free of intellectualisms, a wine that conserves all the beauty of the nature-man environment of our region.

The people

Stefano Pizzamiglio

Born in Milan in 1960, together with his brother Ferruccio he founded La Tosa in 1980. After abandoning his most extreme passion, the world of poetry (the sky), in 1981 and medical school (the earth) in 1984, he transformed his great passion for wine (the kite, which connects the earth to the sky through the string) into a profession, fully realizing himself. His studies at the Agricultural University of Piacenza, an apprenticeship for one year at the Cà del Bosco in Franciacorta and numerous visits to wine cellars and courses abroad completed his technical vineyards and wine cellar training. With an extroverted personality tempered by reflexive nature, in the company he handles all the technical decisions regarding the winemaking process, performs diverse manual tasks in the vineyard and cellar, and also deals with public and commercial relations.

Augusta Bianchini 

Born in Modena in 1958, she is the only person in the family who has farming origins: the daughter of fruit farmers in the Vignola district, she did not follow in their footsteps, but after working for years as their office secretary she developed a great passion for wine. She married Stefano in 1998 and began to work alongside him in the vineyard and in public relations. With a firecracker personality and true Emilia character, she handles the agritourism business, the general organization of the company and takes care of the lobby and welcomes guests.

Our winemaking collaborators

Mauro Villantieri, Lorenzo Fugazza, Alberto Passerini.

Ferruccio Pizzamiglio

Born in Milan in 1958, in 1984 he decided to leave the city of Milan and experience his dream of living in the country, Founding La Tosa and his profession with his brother Stefano. His grand passion for the conservation and study of all things antique antique has filled the company with traditional farming objects, a collection of historical books and artistic and natural treasures from the Piacenza region, creating the Wine Museum, purchasing and restoring all of the pieces in the museum, and the adjoining Library, animating and following all of the cultural initiatives and associations in the town of Vigolzone. With a methodical and reserved character, in the company he handles all the office tasks, administration and logistics, and diverse works in the wine cellar.

Elise Francese

Born in Lyon in 1966 to Italian parents, she is basically French twice over. With a degree in Nursing, a discipline that she practiced in her home city for several years, she always nurtured a passion for cooking, which she cultivated through a style infused with harmony, refinement and lightness. After marrying Ferruccio in 2000, she transformed this passion into a profession. With a reserved and tenacious character, she works in the agritourism, taking care of the general organization and managing the kitchen and provisioning of raw materials from local farmers and dairies.

Our agritourism collaborators

Marisella Araldi, Maria Macellari.

The territory

The countryside around La Tosa is beautiful, with its forests, vineyards, green slopes and uncontaminated nature, populated by animals including squirrels, roe deer, fox, boars, badgers, partridges, gray herons and cormorants. The area is so wild because it is a scarcely fertile, forested plain which in the past did not attract many human settlers. The plain separates two different valleys, Val Nure to the east and Val Trebbia to the west, is five kilometers in length and slopes down gradually, from south to north, with an altitude of 300 meters to 150 meters.
From a pedogeological point of view the plain is a part of the “Ancient Red Lands” in the Piacenza and Parma provinces, strips of plains that arose hundreds of thousands of years ago after the birth of the Apennines. These are the oldest lands in all of Emilia-Romagna, terraced areas formed by deposits of fluvial sediments. They have remained in their places since then, never undergoing any more movement or landslides. The rainwater always fell along the same sections of the land, and removed nitrogen and made these areas less fertile, all while enriching these same areas with mineral elements. It also dissolved limestone and took it into the deeper layers, making it now basically absent in the surface, just as iron and manganese were transported and accumulated in the form of nodules and concretions. This is why below the surface of our land there are so many “Ferretti“, concretions of black iron, which then explains the reddish color of the soil, due to the oxidation of the iron.

This land, which is therefore not very fertile and rich in mineral elements, is usually clay-like and sub-acidic, characterized by high water retention because of the limestone content and the other substances in the clay: the result is a system that works in favor of the structure, complexity, intensity of color, longevity and natural mineral aromas in wines.