Boccadigabbia was once one of the “one hundred poderi,” or individual farms, that made up the Amministrazione Bonaparte of Civitanova, a vast agricultural estate that for over a century was an influential example of modern, rational agriculture. As in all the Amministrazione farms, in the old Boccadigabbia farmhouse, or casa colonica, one can still see today a venerable ceramic tile bearing the name of the podere and, above it, the Napoleonic coat of arms, a crowned “N.”
Boccadigabbia, located in the contrada, or district, of Castelletta di Fontespina, on the first hills that rise from the Adriatic in the direction of the medieval borgo of Civitanova Alta, covers today almost 10 hectares, all in vineyard. Its favourable southern exposure and the mild, sea-side climate have always given Boccadigabbia the reputation as an exceptional spot for viticulture.
In the late 1960s, when it was decided to exclusively cultivate grapes on the property, the varieties planted were those traditional to the production of local everyday wine; unfortunately, this led to the loss of the older varieties, direct descendants of those planted by Hallaire, Napoleon III’s agronomist-superintendent. To recoup this historic loss, a renovation programme was launched in 1986 to re-plant the French varieties that had been cultivated there, such as cabernet, merlot, and pinot noir; the goal, now reached, was to once again achieve the ancient, proverbial high quality of the Amministrazione Bonaparte grapes.