The origins: year 961
Tenuta Santa Caterina is in the municipality of Grazzano Badoglio, a pleasant village with just over 600 inhabitants on the gently rolling hills in the so-called “Colli Divini” area (a play on words in Italian that can be interpreted both as “divine hills” or “hills of wine”), right in the heart of Monferrato in the province of Asti. Grazzano was where, in the year 961, the first sovereign of Monferrato, Marquis Aleramo, a Germanic cavalier of Saxon descent, founded the abbey assigned to the order of Benedictine monks, to whom he attributed feudal rights and to which he remained so devout that on his death he left instructions for his body to be buried there. The abbey was built on a hill, a former settlement in Roman times, and Grazzano in fact comes from Gratius, the name of the commander under Julius Caesar who was given this land as a reward for his military victories.
From 1737 to Today
Over the centuries, a village sprung up around the abbey. The hamlet of Santa Caterina acted as the defence bulwark for the abbey buildings and owes its name to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a noble Egyptian martyr in the 3rd century A.D. It became a farm estate in 1737, when brothers Lodovico and Pietro Plebano completed the transformation of the buildings from a defence complex to a noble residence in the middle of the estate. In the early 1800s the property was bought by the Cotti family, who for over a century continued its farming activity, developing it with very advanced criteria for that time. Subsequently bought in the thirties of the last century by a family from Turin who preserved its identity for many decades, the estate however gradually fell into a state of ruin during the last twenty years of the twentieth century, until it was bought in year 2000 by the Alleva family and restored and renovated following philological criteria that respect its history and surroundings.