Originally the Casale Denari was called “Casal Donelasco”, a “palace”, as it is reported in several archive documents, where the local lord lived.
As the crusades stopped and the Signorie established, Filippo Maria Visconti, last duke of Milan, divided Donelasco from the feudal land of Valle Versa and sold it to Rainaldo Beccaria for 32 lire (ancient money value).
When Claudio Beccaria died, ’Il Casale Denari’ was donated and some years later it became “autonomous land” , that is “Comune” (township).
Lord Gerolamo del Pozzo became the new owner of Casal Donelasco, following the orders of Philippe IV, King of Spain and Duke of Milan from 1621 to 1665.
Giovanni Gaetano del Pozzo, Gerolamo’s son, sold the property to Gerolamo Gambarana descendant of feudal lords from Montesegale.
‘Il Casale Denari’, with its 97 hectares of land, passed to Denari family, an ancient dynasty from Voghera, who played an important role in the whole Oltrepò region trading silk, wine and grain.
According to the line of succession, the new owner of ‘Il Casale Denari’ was the Duke Antonio Denari who, in the 1947-1948, launched intense activities of modernization to satisfy the new living needs. The architect in charge was Emilio Aschieri di Pavia.
The Duke focused his energy on “Il Casale” brand wine production. Among the most famous wines, we remember the “Rosso del Roccolo” produced from its own vineyards. In those years, the restaurant “Hosteria del Casale” was opened inside the Casale, which gave credit to the Duke for creating the first local “agriturismo” (farm) although it didn’t exist legally yet.
In a few years, Casal Donelasco became the capital of sparkling wine: the Duke Denari was president for two decades of the “La Versa” Cooperative Winery and he inspired the Oltrepò Pavese DOC Wine Consortium.
The Duke took part in the foundation of the Italian Institute of Classic Sparkling Wine that included the major Italian companies specialized in that sector. For all his life the Duke strongly believed in the superiority of the hillside wines compared to those produced in the lowland. He fought for the protection of his wines and he pursued the challenge of the Oltrepò Pavese Classic Sparkling Wine with the French Champagne.
The Duke resigned voluntary from the institutions he chaired and then he decided to retire to private life in his Casale, already known as “Casale Denari”.