Azienda Agricola MARTILDE

Our

logo-bg-martilde-viticoltura-biologica-vini-oltrepo-pavese-bonarda-barbera-pinot-nero-croatina-malvasia-3

companions

IMG_5544

We love animals, very much.

Martilde allowed us the space and kind of life to unleash this passion. We have to be careful to keep it under control; there is a number not to be exceeded in order to take proper care of everyone.
raimondo4

Cats

Cats were with us from the very beginning. Martina (a lilac point Siamese) and Matilde (a calico) left Milan with us – together with the chocolate point Pindaro – and their joined names created Martilde. This is why they are both present on our logo and on the labels of our first wines, barbera and bonarda.


They were followed by many others, starting with the kittens of Matilde and Pindaro (Merlino and Morgana), some part of a dynasty, some just strays coming in and staying. A long queue of multicoloured feline silhouettes runs through our memory: Greta, Michele, Melquiades, Monica, Mattia, Martuffo, Marte, Minerva, Mercurio, Marina, Magda, Mapilio, Margot, Maestro, Margerita, Metrobio… (our cats, save a few exceptions, are liable to have names beginning with an “M”).

tissi1

Unfortunately, the nearby roads brings no luck to wandering kitties; too many drivers do not care to brake for a small animal, and we missed quite a lot of them. Left by the road, or simply vanished, lost in the countryside, taken away, chased by some hunter or passing dog. Finally, we couldn’t bear it any longer and, to avoid this sorrow, confined our friends within the house, drastically cutting down their number.

Morgana, called the witch (see the namesake wine), great huntress, born free and determined to stick to her life, has been the last of outdoor cats. She died of old age, after a long and happy life, more than 16 year old.

Afterwards came Mantissa, our third Siamese (a blue point) and two of her kittens: Manfredi and Medea, a seal point Siamese and a black oriental.

Now, after they left us, we have a foreign white Siamese (molecola), and her daughter mia (a lilac tabby). Siamese are peculiar cats, with a strong personality and likes to be very present in your life, we love each other very much.

We also started a small breeding enterprize, “acrobatic cattery”.

Dogs

Dogs arrived very soon, during our first summer at Martilde.

Gelo and Gaia were two maremma sheepdogs, who gave us the pleasure of discovering and appreciating the best aspects of this ancient Italian breed. Self sufficient, clever, making no claims, happy with the care we offered, they came with us on holydays and during long walks. Gelo duly enacted his role of guardian, and Gaia was a sweetie.

Instead their son, Geppo, showed us a darker and more difficult side. A strict and often lunatic keeper, he was always strongly defensive of his charges, even when not really necessary. After having left indelible marks on Antonella’s hands and our hearts, he died in the first days of March 2009, after 14 and half years of life together. A painful farewell, which we endured with sadness, recognizing his right to a free and dignified exit, just as his canine life had always been.

IMG_9751

Nina was a little wounded stray, whom we took in and nursed with a certain initial reluctance. We were hoping for a foster house. We did not want a fourth dog and were not used to small sizes. She was bony, hunched over, gloomy and mistrustful; difficult to imagine a life with her.

Instead this tiny traumatized being revealed an iron will, with a fine intellect and a remarkable perseverance. Nina set down a series of progressive goals, which she relentlessly pursued without loosing heart. She conquered more and more spaces in the house, in our love, and on the pinot noir label!

She was our confident, spoiled darling, inseparable companion. She left us on the 18th of august 2018, with a big void and an everlasting memory.

Gianna has been our first Spanish mastiff, a massive and thoughtful girl, which gained immediately a place on a label and in our sympathies. After an initial disruptive phase, she developed a quiet discreet personality, with some space left for play. Best part of the day was spent sleeping in some shady or sunny corner (depending on season), but at night she kept patrolling the place, careful of suspicious noises from the dark.

Nina was a little wounded stray, whom we took in and nursed with a certain initial reluctance. We were hoping for a foster house. We did not want a fourth dog and were not used to small sizes. She was bony, hunched over, gloomy and mistrustful; difficult to imagine a life with her. Instead this tiny traumatized being revealed an iron will, with a fine intellect and a remarkable perseverance. Nina set down a series of progressive goals, which she relentlessly pursued without loosing heart. She conquered more and more spaces in the house, in our love, and on the pinot noir label!
She was our confident, spoiled darling, inseparable companion.
She left us on the 18th of august 2018, with a big void and an everlasting memory.

Gianna has been our first Spanish mastiff, a massive and thoughtful girl, which gained immediately a place on a label and in our sympathies. After an initial disruptive phase, she developed a quiet discreet personality, with some space left for play. Best part of the day was spent sleeping in some shady or sunny corner (depending on season), but at night she kept patrolling the place, careful of suspicious noises from the dark.

IMG_E1538

The last arrival was yusuf, an oyster brindle afghan hound, with the shades of sand and silver.

Raimondo obliged me when taking him, with some doubt.

Now he is fascinated by this strange creature, cat, monkey and only partially dog. He can look a king or a clown, and in his dark eyes you can detect an ancient wisdom.

He plays like a mastiff (probably believes to be one), and never backs off.

Very recently, we went back to our favourite breeder, Mariscalato Kennels at Los Alcazares, and get a beautiful silver brindle young girl: jezebel.

Still young, she is very smart, feminine, loving and a pleasure to look at and be with.

Horses

Zaffo, a stallion from the Murgia region (Puglia) came with us at Martilde when he was about 4 years old, and he and Antonella were still trying to get acquainted and trustful in each other. Together, they explored all of the surrounding hills, and many summer evenings they were back at dark.

His son, Diluvio, was born at the winery, giving us the wonderful gift of a “family” foal. After more than 18 years, Zaffo left us, with the memory of so many hours and deep emotions shared; a gaping hole in our life. During the years, many of our animal friends died, and this sorrowful price is what one has to pay for the joy of their love and company.

But loosing our Tato was a heartbreaking pain, like if a part of us, free and secret, had gone forever.

antonellaacavallo

We like to remember him during his escapes through the vineyards, when he liked to stop letting us get near and then trot away a few paces, or dart in the opposite direction: his favourite game. It was beautiful to watch him and his son running free, black silhouettes streaking past the green of the vineyards.

Diluvio, his son, was born with “a problem” in one leg, which made him a bit wobbly, and unfit to be ridden. After staying with us almost all his life, he enjoyed a happy retirement, pampered, and in a flat place.

foto per sito eff - 25 di 40

Thanks to the beautiful structure created in Milan, at Bollate penitentiary, were they teach inmates to take care and communicate with horses.

Tygo was, unfortunately, a shooting star in our life, and a great loss. But he left us a great gift, which was getting to know the Friesian breed. It was thanks to his memory that we searched for and found Bram.

As, after such a long time, Antonella was looking for an elderly horse, quiet and well trained, we came back from Frisia having bought a little stallion of 5 years, barely ridden.

But Bram has a big kind heart and, with time and perseverance, he got to used to us and reciprocates our love.

Some bones got broken, but it was worthwhile.

All the others and the Condo

There have been many other animals: the sheep Clementina and her daughter Olivia (the white wonder of a newborn lamb! astonishing), the henhouse with chicks, geese, ducklings and hens with an overwhelming maternal instinct.

Occasional guest like porcupines, little birds fallen from their nest, young hares without their mother, who got nursed in our bathroom… And there is quite a crowd which lives usually here, like us. Pheasant and rabbits, who have an hard life during hunting season; grass snakes and other harmless reptiles; as many lizards as you can wish for; deers, foxes, weasels; the boars whose prints you can find on the paths (and damages in the vineyards!); different insects (nasty bugs, green mantises, yellow and black butterflies and ingenious spiders) and several birds.

Starlings, sparrows, goldfinches, robins, cuckoos, swallows, magpies, hawks, chickadees, partridges, doves, crows, hoopoes and others.

Some birds have created the “condo”. It starts in autumn: gathering preferably on the two poplars in the courtyard, or on the sycamore tree in the garden. It is time to migrate, and they probably discuss and argue about the better route to follow. As in all these occasions, the basic rule is that nobody must agree with anybody else, but be all engaged in expressing their opinions at top voice. Even if you stay inside, quite a distance away, it is impossible not to take notice of them.

From time to time, the entire condo storms away in a huff, gathering new grumpy members to raise even more the level of conversation.

We adore the “condo”, noisy but fun, and we are happy to find it on spot, after each vintage.