Award-Winning Producer Seeks Investors for Underground Mill

Tamia's Pietro Re conceived an ultramodern, multi-purpose and sustainable mill -- and he's looking for backers.

Pietro Re by Maurizio Di Giovancarlo, Tuscia Fotografia
Aug. 21, 2017
By Ylenia Granitto
Pietro Re by Maurizio Di Giovancarlo, Tuscia Fotografia

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Modern facil­i­ties for olive oil pro­duc­tion require care­ful plan­ning and the con­tri­bu­tion of mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary com­pe­ten­cies,” Pietro Re said when asked about the start­ing points of the lat­est project for the Italian pro­ducer, Tamia.

Experience in pro­duc­tion and state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, com­bined with rural wis­dom and respect of ter­ri­tory con­veyed the con­cept of this plan.- Pietro Re, Tamia

Their capa­bil­i­ties must cover sev­eral aspects includ­ing the clean­li­ness of the loca­tion, the safety and well-being of oper­a­tors and the usabil­ity and func­tion­al­ity of spaces, in addi­tion to envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions which favor the preser­va­tion of raw mate­r­ial and an opti­mum exe­cu­tion of the entire pro­duc­tion process.”

After a mar­ket sur­vey a few years ago, Tamía started with the idea to offer an organic extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duced in the attrac­tive and still lit­tle-known ter­ri­tory embraced by the hills of Tuscia.

Re and his col­lab­o­ra­tors choose a name which comes from an Etruscan word used to define home or some­thing domes­tic, and com­bined it with a thumbprint logo to rep­re­sent the trace­abil­ity of their prod­uct.

After estab­lish­ing the pack­ag­ing and mar­ket posi­tion­ing, they car­ried out the first har­vest in 2013, imme­di­ately reach­ing excel­lence and earn­ing many awards includ­ing a Best in Class at the 2014 New York International Olive Oil Competition with Tamía Gold Organic, another Gold in 2015, and two Gold Awards with Tamía Iron Organic and Tamía Green Organic.

Today, after four years of activ­ity and an annual growth of at least 100 per­cent, our extra vir­gin olive oils are on the shelves of high-end restau­rants and resorts through­out the world,” Re remarked. Enthusiasts appre­ci­ate our prod­ucts due to their excel­lent qual­ity-price ratio, and the time has come to equip our­selves with a high-level struc­ture where we can work in com­fort, in full respect of the envi­ron­ment, and where we can develop activ­i­ties ded­i­cated to cus­tomers and guests.”

Tamia olive groves by Maurizio Di Giovancarlo, Tuscia Fotografia

The com­pany is now plan­ning to build a new mill that will include rooms for accom­mo­da­tion and overnight stays, a sec­tion ded­i­cated to events and tast­ings, cowork­ing areas linked to a com­mer­cial space for direct sales, and a sec­tion devoted to edu­ca­tional courses.

We already started to work on this last aspect in another struc­ture, and in February we will give the sec­ond course on the smart use of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil in the food indus­try,” said Re, explain­ing that in the new struc­ture, Tamía’s team will train food indus­try oper­a­tors how to rec­og­nize, use, pro­mote and mon­e­tize high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil within their busi­nesses.

But the most inter­est­ing thing about the project is that the mill will be sub­ter­ranean.

The Italian archi­tects Carlo Celleno and Antonio de Paolis who designed the struc­ture were inspired not only by ancient mills dis­cov­ered in Italy, Portugal and Chile but above all by the 3,000-year-old Etruscan hypogean struc­tures found not far from the olive groves. Re devised an ambi­tious project that should be beau­ti­ful, mul­ti­func­tional, respect­ful of the envi­ron­ment and local tra­di­tions and which fas­ci­nat­ingly con­nects ori­gins to future, tra­di­tion to inno­va­tion.”

A rendering of the multi-functional structure including a mill by the architects Carlo Celleno and Antonio de Paolis

Here, the olive trees ben­e­fit from a favor­able posi­tion and good fea­tures of the ter­rain: a 300-meter alti­tude (984 feet), and a flat soil that facil­i­tates oper­a­tions and pro­motes fer­til­ity thanks to the nearby Lake Vico, which was formed in a vol­canic crater that has enriched ground through­out the ages.

My busi­ness part­ner Carlo’s grand­mother told me that soil is so fer­tile that when they planted the vine­yard and posi­tioned the pas­sone by sim­ply stick­ing it in the soil, it began to sprout,” Re recalled, refer­ring to a wooden pole obtained from the prun­ing remains of olive trees which in the old days was posi­tioned at both ends of the rows of vines.

Angelo Antonio and Francesco Delle Monache by Maurizio Di Giovancarlo, Tuscia Fotografia

Despite the severe drought of the past few weeks, and that the olive grove is non-irri­gated, the plants of Caninese, Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo were flour­ish­ing and the olives looked good.

Then, Re brought me into the com­pany offices, which were now in the old farm­house. Tamía would never have existed with­out the cul­tural her­itage of Sergio Delle Monache’s organic farm, which was already awarded in the 1930s for the excel­lent qual­ity of olive oil,” he pointed out, show­ing me the old awards of a time when real qual­ity was a priv­i­lege of only a select few. Sergio’s son, Francesco Delle Monache is now the pres­i­dent of the com­pany, and has made an essen­tial con­tri­bu­tion to build­ing Tamía’s suc­cess.”

Experience in pro­duc­tion and state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, com­bined with rural wis­dom and respect of ter­ri­tory con­veyed the con­cept of this plan,” Re con­sid­ered, point­ing out that the new mill will be com­pletely sus­tain­able, with the low­est envi­ron­men­tal impact.

Gold, Green and Iron by Maurizio Di Giovancarlo, Tuscia Fotografia

Tamia is seek­ing investors for the next phase of the com­pa­ny’s ambi­tious jour­ney.

When asked why some­one would invest in the enter­prise, Re said that, in addi­tion to par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cap­i­tal increase of the com­pany, investors can count on the beau­ti­ful ter­ri­tory of Tuscia, which has so much to offer and still remains to be dis­cov­ered.

Crossed by the ancient Via Francigena, it is rich in ther­mal waters, woods, rivers, moun­tains with trails for bik­ing, hik­ing and Nordic walk­ing; more­over, it is close to the port of Civitavecchia, which is the most impor­tant hub for mar­itime trans­port in Italy with more than 2 mil­lion cruis­ers and vis­i­tors every year, and to Rome and its air­ports.

As the sun was going down, we drove to a fas­ci­nat­ing place in the heart of Vetralla and it was like we were caught in a time warp. Here, in a grotte (a grotto equipped with kilns), the Etruscan art of clay pots lives again thanks to the hands of Angelo Ricci, who recov­ered the activ­ity of his grand­fa­ther known as Checco Lallo, and now cre­ates fine and ele­gant ter­ra­cotta arti­facts, branded one by one with a sign rem­i­nis­cent of the ancient voca­tion of this ter­ri­tory: a tiny styl­ized olive branch.


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