The Bava family has resided in the Cocconato area since at least the beginning of the 1600s, and even back then, their farmhouse, known as ca’ Traversa, was surrounded by vineyards.
The vocation for winemaking was already ingrained in the family’s DNA, as they had been producing wine for their own consumption for a long time, alongside cultivating other field products. The wine produced was then stored in barrels in the underground cellars of the farmhouse and bottled during exceptional vintages or for special occasions.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century, a historic event changes the fate of the village of Cocconato and, along with it, the destiny of the Bava family.
A round-trip journey into the world of wine
On October 24, 1910, the excavation works officially began for a significant event: the construction of the railway that would include Cocconato in the Asti – Chivasso line. The tunnel was completed approximately a year later, with two stations: the smaller one in Bonvino and the Cocconato station, which also served as a freight depot.
Piero Bava recounts, “Where workers labour, they need bread and wine. And so, my family first opened a bakery, followed by a hotel with a restaurant, dance hall, and cellar. My great-grandfather Giuseppe Bava knew that the railway would soon enable easier transportation and trade along the Turin route, fostering encounters and exchanges.”
The facility was officially opened as a station on October 20, 1912, by the State Railways, coinciding with the inauguration of the Chivasso – Asti line: a momentous day for the entire village of Cocconato. A municipal shuttle service provided connections to the village, located 3 km away, for many years.
The trattoria with a hotel, which later remained active as a restaurant until the 1970s, did not distract the Bava family from their winemaking; instead, it continued to thrive.
Although the main activity during those years was related to the restaurant business, the family continued to invest in wine production.
“All the farmers in the surrounding area cultivated vineyards, fermented a portion of the grapes for themselves and then sold the rest. We became their customers; we would go and buy grapes from them. Towards evening, carts with containers of grapes would start arriving, which we would take to the cellar. We had a hand-operated press with rollers: the farmers would throw the grapes in with pitchforks, we would prepare the must, and with the “brenta” (a type of small wooden container), we would transfer it to the fermenting barrels,” recalls Piero Bava.
Thus, the railway’s arrival significantly boosted the economic development of Cocconato and enabled Bava Winery to carry on the winemaking tradition, which has now surpassed 110 harvests in recent years.
You can discover many more stories about our territory and winery by visiting us in Cocconato: organize your visit with a tasting.