"Located in the village of Scandiano, Emilia-Romagna, between the foothills of the high Apennine Mountain range to the east and the Po River basin is a tiny but very active polycultural farm. Founded in 2014 by Luca Verzelloni and his two childhood friends Simone and Francesca, Prati al Sole was a ground-up project that had a mission to bring naturally farmed vegetables, honey and wine to their local community. Today they grow a myriad of heirloom vegetables, heirloom grains, and raise bees for honey in addition to their winemaking.
In 2012 Luca and friends planted their 2 hectare vineyard, which consisted of rare but native Lambrusco varieties and other indigenous grapes including Spergola (an aromatic white grape), Malvasia di Candia for white wine production, as well as rare native Lambrusco sub-varieties such as Barghi, Maestri, Grasparossa and Marzemino. They also planted a very rare grape called Termarina, which is an ideal variety used to make their preserves and marmalades but they also put a small amount of it into their wines.
On the farm they have worked organically and biodynamically since day 1 and were certified in 2017. They also work with several important sustainable farming practices including 'no till farming,' 'market gardening' and 'permanent bed' agriculture. These are all efforts to minimize soil erosion and compaction to grow truly sustainable foods. Prati al Sole operates a direct to consumer CSA model for all their produce as well as setting up at regional seasonal farmers markets to sell their products. To say that these guys take it seriously is a true understatement, they go above and beyond and not for the sake of marketing, but for their own passion and the quality that it delivers.
In talking to the owner Luca about his influences and passions he mentioned the late, great, Stefano Bellotti of Cascina Degli Ulivi; an early biodynamic and holistic winemaking practitioner that left an indelible mark on Luca when they'd met years ago. Clearly Luca and the team at Prati are following in his footsteps and writing their own story of Italian agro-viticulture." -SelectioNaturel
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