In 1977, just eighteen years old, Stefano Bellotti took over the family farm, located on the border between Piedmont and Liguria, in Novi Ligure. The farm, owned by the Bellotti family since 1930, resides within the Gavi DOCG and was used by his medical father to escape from the city. Stefano began with several crops and a risicato hectare of vines; moreover, thanks to the meeting with one of his first masters, Pietro Toccalino, a neighbour, he learnt the basics of winemaking.
Two are the crucial choices of Stefano that radically characterize everything that today represents Cascina degli Ulivi: the first is the way of viticulture, partly forced by the morphology and physiognomy of the soils, acid-ferrous clays, not generous and difficult to cultivate; the second is the ecological agricultural approach, a choice also political, of those times considered strongly anti-progressive, and therefore more difficult than ever. But over the years Stefano realized that he was not alone and began to meet like-minded colleagues, first teachers and then fellow travellers, including Alfredo Roagna, a historic Barbaresco producer, Luigi Brezza, Italy's first biodynamic farmer, and Jean-Pierre Frick, an Alsatian biodynamic producer. Today Stefano Bellotti is remembered as one of the pioneers of natural wine, as well as an ambassador of biodynamic agriculture.