La Parrina farm

by admin on 11/11/2016

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The La Parrina farm was founded in 1830 by the Florentine banker Michele Giuntini when a large part of Maremma was covered by marshes and malaria was one of the principal causes of death among the locals. Labourers didn’t have any rights at all and all the farms practised sharecropping. This situation continued until 1950 when there was an agrarian reform in Italy. Then, the State expropriated two thirds of the property of the Giuntini family in order to give it to sharecroppers who were turned into owners of small pieces of land, while the property of the Giuntini family was reduced from 1800 to 600 hectares.

Anyway, about 185 years after its foundation, la Parrina has become a large farm, relatively speaking, with a wide range of agricultural products. Thus, our visit in November allows just a snapshot of the wide range of activities which take place at this farm. In order to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening, it would be necessary to visit at various times from seeding to growing to harvesting.

First, our guide Massimiliano showed us the wine cellar where must was slowly turning into wine in big contaiers of concrete and stainless steel. Next, we entered a room where lots of oak barrels containing wine were stored. In this way, flavours of the oak will get mixed with the wineThe wines, which are made at La Parrina, were also exhibited in the same room:

Various white wines, all of them being DOC or IGT, but they aren’t organic. However, integrated farming is practised at this farm, meaning a low environmental impact such that use of fertilisers and pesticides is kept to a minimum..

Naturally, we went to the farm shop where all the products of this farm are on sale: fresh sheep’s cheese, sheep’s cheese with or without herbs which has been ripened. Goat’s cheese, cow’s cheese, fresh ricotta cheese and yogurt , various types of pasta and bread, jams, wines, vinegar , sweets and cosmetics derived from plants grown on the farm. At the start of our visit, we were served a selection of wines together with various cheeses, a delicious experience. During the tasting, our guide Massimiliano talked about how mixing various types of grapes gives a particular wine and how milk is turned into cheese. Next, we got a taste of olive oil and bread, both of them originating from this farm. Moreover, there many other types of food and drink like flour, grappa, meat, honey, sour cream, peach nectar and fruit preserves. An elaborate article about preserving apples can be found here.

In order to complete our visit, we also paid a visit to the animals of the farm. A roost contained a wide variety of poultry, mainly various types of chicken like Ancona chicken  and Millefiori di Lonigo, but also turkeys. Next, we arrived at a pond where geese were honkng and ducks were swimming. After having passed various orchards and vineyards, we arrived at an area where cows, goats and sheep were kept in separate pens.

We rounded off our visit by going to the hotel, situated in the manor, which was built in the 1830s. In the same building, there was a restaurant and an adjacent garden where one can have dinner below ancient linden trees and where bands are playing classical and other types of music in summer.

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