We manage in excess of 600 hectares including vegetable gardens, pastures, meadows, chestnut woods and other woodlands. They constitute an important legacy which deserves to be protected and enhanced through high quality agriculture, breeding free range or semi-free range traditional breeds, which in turn limit the advance of the wood and maintain the meadow-pasture, slowing down and reducing the loss of many native plant varieties or others which have resulted from centuries of human interaction.
We maintain a variety of crops including mountain potatoes, Treschietto onions, “antique” ottofile maize, aromatic and medicinal herbs, plus olives, chestnuts, fruit and berries. We have free range and semi-free range cows (mainly Limousin, very suitable for rough patches of land), sheep (Zeri lamb, Slow Food) and pigs (Cinta Senese), as well as free range courtyard animals such as chickens, ducks, geese and Guinea fowl.
Ongoing flour production has only been made possible as a result of maintaining ancient traditions dating back to when the chestnut tree was called the “bread tree” since it provided the food and livelihood of the people of the Apennines.
Our produce is used in the restaurant kitchen, to guarantee freshness and authenticity, where the role of the chef and his staff is not only to cook well, but also to help save a local food chain, preserve endangered breeds and provide testimony to the gastronomic wealth and scenic beauty of the area through the food he puts on the table.
Our guests can spend a pleasant holiday or just enjoy a lunch or dinner, with the knowledge that while eating and drinking well, they are making an important contribution to the preservation of traditions and the environment.
Lunigiana chestnut flour DOP and organic honey are the main products of our farm. They are also two food “ambassadors” for Lunigiana, both the end product of a delicate chain of natural processes, put at risk each year by parasites such as gall wasps which affect the chestnut tree and varroa mites which can seriously damage honey bees. This is in addition to adverse weather conditions which often limit production.
The story of the flour starts with caring for the chestnut trees around Apella and Taponecco and continues with the collection and selection of the best local varieties of chestnuts. These are then processed using the traditional method of slow drying, burning only chestnut wood, for over a month, without stopping day or night, in ancient drying houses called metati or “gradili”. Afterwards, they are ground with millstones in traditional water mills.
It is as a result of this method of production, combined with dedication to the work and a passion for the rediscovery of local traditions, that our chestnut flour turns into such a unique product of the highest quality. It has the strong sweet flavour and intense aroma of sweet chestnuts, the texture of talcum powder, ivory in colour, which allows a great versatility of uses in the kitchen. Our chef is delighted to create dishes each day made with chestnut flour, revisiting and adapting the ancient recipes of the area.