BORGO MOSNEL

Borgo Mosnel lies in Camignone di Passirano, in the Contrada Barboglio, the latter area named for the family that inherited the property in 1836. Entering the area from the west, from the vineyards, one can observe classic examples of 17th- and 18th-century Lombard farmsteads (cascine), which for centuries have been utilised as winecellars, with steel tanks, wood barrels, and rows of Mosnel Franciacortas undergong bottle-ageing. The agriturism is here as well, and the winery’s hospitality area.

On the left, as one continues along the road, are three large buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. Two have preserved their original lines, while the main villa, residence first of the Barboglios, and today of the Barzanò family, has over the centuries undergone various transformations, and assumed its current configuration following thoroughgoing re-structuring during the Neo-classical period. The façade of this structure, in fact, is featured in Mosnel’s logo.

Looking more closely, one can make out the two low 17th-century towers that were once used as as an entryway and as a stable. In the centre of the high wall connecting them together is a wrought-iron gate, address no. 6, with life-size putti in Botticino marble surmounting the two flanking pilasters. Entering the square courtyard through the open central arch, one is greeted on the right and left (east and west sides) by two porticoed wings (barchesse) with 5 arches, of which 4 are closed and windowed. Closing the area on the north is the Neo-classical villa with its 5-arched portico, and a smaller arch on the left, all resting on Botticino marble pilasters. The windows on the storey above correspond with the arches, while the large central window has small, delicate columns in the same marble. The small windows of final storey, actually the attic, echo those of the storey below. The east side of the villa looks out over a densely-planted Pinot Noir vineyard that dominates that section of the park.

The main façade is characterised by 5 windows, both on the ground floor as well as on the upper two stories, with an elegant tower-dovecote completing the roof profile.

The interior of the villa reflects the Venetian residence tradition. Its imposing entryway leads into a dining room completely decorated with an imaginary early 19th-century landscape; it looks out into onto the garden through a large ogive-arched glass door, while a small two-storied wing provides northwards extension, which once housed service staff, with elegant ogive windows and door, surmounted by Neo-gothic swallow-tail crenalations around the roof-line. Along the sides of the villa are found the parlour, small sitting room, and entry to the Neo-classical staircase that leads up to the first storey. Here, a spacious decorated room overlooks the villa’s main entrance and part of the portico below, with its large window over the front courtyard. From here, one can gain entry to 4 bedrooms, as well as to the other side of the house and the service staircase. The villa is still completely furnished and inhabited and is is not open to the public.

North of this complex is a romantic park, some two hectares in extent, that dates back to the early 1800s; at its heart is a majestic, 40 metre-tall cedar of Lebanon whose birth was just before the Romantic period.

The garden is enhanced by long gravelled pathways, enabling guests to admire bicentenary trees, among them yews (Taxus baccata), Deodar and Lebanon cedars, blue Atlas cedar (Atlantica glauca), beech, hornbeam, horse-chestnut, and individual specimens of incense cedar, linden, and magnolia, and southern magnolia. It boasts, in addition, various aromatic bushes and shrubs that scent the garden through the seasons, such as roses, peonies, dalhias, fragrant olive, calycanthus, hydrangeas, laurels, holm oaks, chestnuts, and spireas.

A stroll through this green treasure-house reveals a 16th-century fountain, a stone ice-house, and a belvedere that affords a beautiful view out over the contiguous Pinot Noir vineyard.

Mosnel’s vineyards are almost all right around the winery complex, so much so that from the loggia one’s eye can take in a large part of them. The 41 hectares of vineyards, all cultivated organically, lie at an elevation of 250 metres and seem a single, smooth green carpet covering the main morainic bowl-shaped depression.

The decision to cultivate the estate vineyards organically was the fruit of an all-encompassing sensitivity to the environment, a vision that has enabled Mosnel to launch many other like-spirited initiatives, all integraed with each other into a coherent whole.