Michael Schmelzer and his family arrived in the region after a long search for the perfect vineyard and took over Monte Bernadi in 2003 with the intention to restore the Villa and vineyards to their previous glory and introduce biodynamic viticulture. Michael, who lives in the area, is in charge of the viti-vini side whilst his sister Jennifer, who lives in Roma, deals with marketing and sales.
The Cantina sits on a kind of peninsula the River Pesa at its foot, 300m below. The Cantina is surrounded by forests. Michael took over a vineyard much in need of attention but realised that given the proper care the vines started to become much more alive, and full of organic material. The soil content is 60% approx. clay based with the usual Albarese (limestone) and Galestro (shale) - Michael believes that the high level of clay and sand helps towards the diurnal differences (acting on heat reflection/coolness retention of the soil).
For practical reasons the wines are made in a rented place in Panzano but the aim is to start vinifying/bottling at the Cantina in the near future (Retromarcia is starting to be made there). 5ha were bought in the last couple of years and will become fully certified organic as from the 2013 vintage, working on increasing production at Retromarcia and Riserva level.