Europe

A Gold Standard Farm in Umbria Promotes Research on Sustainability and Health

Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio won two Gold Award at NYIOOC 2017 thanks to constant research on quality and sustainability.

Jun. 29, 2017
By Ylenia Granitto

Recent News

On a warm day of early June, we drove across the green heart of Italy and cher­ished the grace­ful pro­file of the land­scape which sur­rounds Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.

People who lived here over the ages took care of this ter­ri­tory with love and respect. This is what we do today and the way to get the best from your land.- Maria Camilla Fasola Bologna, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio

When I talked with Lorenzo Fasola Bologna about the two Gold Awards received at the 2017 NYIOOC, I felt his pas­sion and desire to do better, even though some impres­sive goals have already been achieved by the Umbrian farm.

Andrea, Lorenzo and Maria Camilla Fasola Bologna

He joined his father Andrea Fasola Bologna in the man­age­ment of the com­pany in 1998 and they deci­sively took the path to sus­tain­abil­ity with a number of mea­sures which led to ‘360 green’ rev­o­lu­tion. “We reduced the envi­ron­men­tal impact and achieved the com­plete sus­tain­abil­ity of pro­duc­tion, enhanc­ing both the qual­ity of prod­ucts and the qual­ity of life of people and ter­ri­tory,” he pointed out, remark­ing that over the years, 10,000 trees of dif­fer­ent types have been planted.

In 2008 the com­pany received the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion #00001 by the inde­pen­dent author­ity DNV, in accor­dance with the inter­na­tional stan­dard ISO 14064, for cut­ting its green­house gas emis­sions. As the first farm to ful­fill this target, they went from 287 tons to minus 764 tons of CO2 in a few years.
See more: The Best Olive Oils from Italy
Now, in addi­tion to a spe­cial focus on sus­tain­able phy­tosan­i­tary man­age­ment, they only use biodiesel-pow­ered trac­tors and elec­tric vehi­cles. Energy is pro­duced by pho­to­voltaics panels, while fur­ther energy-saving arrange­ments, like the imple­men­ta­tion of albedo effect on roofs, allow to cut sev­eral tons of CO2.

“Today, sus­tain­abil­ity is a trendy con­cept, but in those years our envi­ron­men­tally friendly atti­tude was ground­break­ing,” Fasola Bologna told me. “We believe that this is the foun­da­tion of a healthy future, but above all the start­ing point for qual­ity since I think that olive trees must grow in an envi­ron­ment as healthy as pos­si­ble.”

Advertisement

We walked in the shade of a sec­u­lar olive grove, along path­ways that were once walked by Etruscans, who gave the name Vubia to the Roman clan that col­o­nized the area. A wall from that time still stands as a border between olive trees and vines.

“The energy of this place seems to act on the prod­ucts of the soil that are always excel­lent,” said Lorenzo’s sister, Maria Camilla Fasola Bologna. “And in fact, his­tor­i­cal evi­dences enriched by leg­ends tell us that people who lived here over the ages took care of this ter­ri­tory with love and respect. This is what we do today and the way to get the best from your land.”

From the ori­gins of this place, they named Vubia the blend of Moraiolo, Leccino, Frantoio and Dolce Agogia which won a Gold Award, thanks to its excel­lent sen­so­r­ial com­bi­na­tion of arti­choke, sweet almond and herbs with enjoy­able bit­ter­ness and pun­gency.

Advertisement

The family earned another Gold Award for their Tremilaolive Monocultivar Borgiona, which is made up of a native vari­ety and took its name from the number (trem­ila means three thou­sand) of olives typ­i­cally needed to pro­duce half liter of their extra virgin olive oil.

They can count on 14,000 olive trees, of which the most ancient are esti­mated to be about four hun­dred years old. Eleven dif­fer­ent vari­eties includ­ing Moraiolo, Frantoio and Dolce Agogia, and other less common cul­ti­vars such as Rosciola di Panicale, Rosciola Umbra, Limona, San Felice, Pocciolo, Nostrale di Rigali, Borgiona and Capolga Umbra, give life to a unique ‘sec­u­lar’ blend, char­ac­ter­ized by notes of aro­matic herbs.

Advertisement

A study car­ried out by the CNR of Perugia allowed Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio to be among the first to use the DNA recog­ni­tion for cer­ti­fy­ing extra virgin olive oil. “We receive a part of olives from small pro­duc­ers of this area,” Lorenzo Fasola Bologna explained. “They only cul­ti­vate local vari­eties accord­ing to our sus­tain­able and cer­ti­fied approach, and we want to pro­vide our con­sumers a ver­i­fied qual­ity assur­ance.”

They cer­tify all their prod­ucts, includ­ing a new frozen single-dose extra virgin olive oil. Tests showed that freez­ing EVOO imme­di­ately after bot­tling keep it in excel­lent con­di­tion and pro­motes con­sump­tion. “We designed a single-dose as it gives the pos­si­bil­ity to be used during a dinner, making you feel like the extra virgin olive oil just came out of the mill,” he said, sug­gest­ing its use with gaz­pa­cho and other fresh summer food.

Moreover, they carry out ongo­ing research activ­i­ties on the prop­er­ties of extra virgin olive oils and its byprod­ucts, like a a con­cen­trated liquid extract with Hydroxytyrosol, devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a team of researchers and doc­tors.

It is an extra­or­di­nary sub­stance, whose many ben­e­fits are yet to be dis­cov­ered, con­sid­ered Fasola Bologna. “We devel­oped this prod­uct to help pre­vent cho­les­terol and high blood pres­sure-related prob­lems, to improve blood sugar con­trol and take pre­cau­tion for many other dis­eases,” he explained, high­light­ing the large number of researches that demon­strated the ben­e­fi­cial effects of this phe­no­lic phy­to­chem­i­cal on the reduc­tion of oxida­tive stress.

“Some sports­men use our food sup­ple­ment and this make me proud,” he revealed. “A healthy lifestyle based on Mediterranean diet is the start­ing point to feel good!”

The sun goes down on the olive grove, while we enjoy a gentle evening breeze and the olive trees are in full bloom all around us.