Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Slow Lane Aristo

Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Slow Lane Aristo

Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Slow Lane Aristo

Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados
The long driveway approach ushers a sense of times past, shielded by Italian landscaped gardens, tall cypress trees, and infinity vineyards

Intro

Dating back to the 16th century and once the noble country pad of the Marquises Fontanelli, the Counts Galliani, the Counts Ancini, and finally in the 19th century, the residence of the Marquis Manodori – the Roncolo 1888 is a boutique guesthouse-hotel set within 130-hectares of the Venturini Baldini viticultural estate. Located between Parma and Reggio Emilia, we are in slow-lane country, the rolling hills of ‘Made in Emilia’ – the nature-beauty spot of Matilde di Canossa in northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, within easy driving distance to Moderna and Bologna. 

Roncolo 1888 is situated around the resplendent 16th century Villa Manodori. However, the motto here is firmly in the basecamp of casual luxury despite having an aristocratic chateau feel about it. The long driveway approach ushers a sense of times past, shielded by Italian landscaped gardens, tall cypress trees, and infinity vineyards. With a clever remodelling from owners Julia and Giuseppe Prestia, smartly updated Hotel Roncolo 1888 sits perfectly here, with a stylish aesthetic that works so well within the beamed ceilings and thick chunky walls of this heirloom gem.

The hotel's relaxed demure complements the Venturini Baldini's sustainable and organic approach to winemaking - where grapes and crops are harvested traditionally by hand. Staying at Hotel Roncolo 1888 means immersion in the layers of Venturini Baldini's vino culture. Not only can you taste fine wines (try their somewhat addictive organic-certified Lambrusco), but dedicated wine aficionados can inspect the neat rows of vines or have a nosey at the factory production line. Within the estate, there is the Acetaia di Canossa housed within the lofts containing some 400 plus aged barrels of vinegar, reputedly the region's oldest.  

Although there’s lots to see, you’ll find your day falls into an easy rhythm, tasting wine, enjoying platters of Parma ham, parmesan and the estate's balsamic vinegar, relaxing by the pool or savouring dinner in the newly designed historic greenhouse restaurant La Limonaia.

Roncolo 1888 is truly a place for lovers of wine, food and the slow pace, where the owners convey their passion for good agricultural practices, sustainable wine production and innate respect for the land, folk and heritage.

Rooms

Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

The cool interior of Hotel Roncolo 1888 is the perfect respite after a day’s wine tasting or strolling the surrounding forests, lakes, vines and pastures. With 12 suites, the design template takes inspiration from the structure’s original features – beams take centre stage, framing the simple pared-back composition.

Floors come with smooth modern wood and flecks of colour adorn bedspreads on soft white beds and mid-century seating dots the simple aesthetic where heritage features are allowed to flourish. Bathrooms are tiled in geometric whites, and Terrazzo in the Villa Manodori, with walk-in showers and oval free-standing sinks. 

Foodie

Culinary Dining | Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados Gourmet Food | Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Clasped by such high-quality, fertile surroundings, you’d be right in thinking that eating and drinking here at Hotel Roncolo 1888 are of a very high standard. The fine-dining restaurant 'La Limonaia', based in the estate’s historic greenhouse, showcases the best of ‘breadbasket’ Emilia Romagna, being the home of ragu, lasagna and tortellini, not to mention the nearby towns of Parma and Modena sharing their wealth. Expect refined takes on the classics and of course paired with wine whose grapes were carefully harvested just metres from where you sit. 

Aged vinegar is synonymous with the region. Within the grounds is the in-house Acetaia di Canossa which has its origins in a historic vinegar factory, housed in the rafters of a building from the 17th Century. It contains more than 400 barrels of juniper, oak, cherry, ash and chestnut wood, each barrel gives the vinegar its own unmistakable aroma. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia and balsamic vinegars of Modena IGP are used in the kitchens, adding that unique flavour. 

Sustainability and organic are also at the forefront of the menu offerings here; the estate’s commitment to only organic products began in earnest in the early 1990s, and the winery was one of the first to be fully organic in Italy – their entirely organic production show their deep roots in the community and its future. Breakfast showcases further the organic delights including the best Italian coffee – in spring enjoy a Sunday Brunch in the meadow and come summer, rosé Wednesday is a popular mid-week treat.

Location

Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Creating an idyll in Italy’s culinary heartland of Emilia-Romagna, Roncolo 1888 is surrounded by the pleasures of the good life and natural beauty of Matilde di Canossa. On your doorstep are walks around the 130-hectare estate through forests, meadows and of course, vineyards. You can also discover the nearby Bianello Castle, atop a hill with fantastic views, one of four castles or ‘Quattro Castello’ that have vantage points.

Slightly further afield, under an hour’s drive, enjoy the foodie pleasures of Modena, famed for its balsamic vinegar or Parma for that divine ham. Tuscany is reachable in a few hours and if you’re after coastline, the Tuscan beaches of Forte dei Marmi are just two hours away. If you’re a motorhead, Motor Valley will get your engine revving – the birthplace of Ferrari and Lamborghini. For access, Bologna is the best international airport hub.

Film

Owners

 Julia Prestia, Giuseppe Prestia | Roncolo 1888 | Boutique Guesthouse Hotel in the Venturini Baldini Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy | The Aficionados

Winemaking has been the focus of this estate since 1976, when the Venturini Baldini family set the bar high with a manual harvest and use of oenologists to ensure the highest quality of the grapes, producing grape varieties including Sorbara, Grasparossa, Pinot Nero, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Grigio.

Today, Julia Prestia and her husband Giuseppe from Sicily run the estate; in 2012 they continued and built on the organic work that the Venturini Baldini family began, even re-branding cloyingly sweet Lambrusco from the 80s back to its original dry, bubbly appellation. With Julia’s background in management consulting and finance at McKinsey & Co in London and the regeneration of the farm buildings to add accommodation, they’ve helped put the shy and retiring region of Emilia-Romagna on the map.

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