Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

On the way to Poneta, between Barberino Val d’Elsa and the industrial zone of Zambra, a sign says “Casanova”.

Here is where an old fashioned family tradition arrives directly from Sicily, and with a touch of Mediterranean flavor, matches local taste.

Il Vello d’Oro is a winery and agriturismo (farm stay) which stands out for its excellence. It offers a vast gamma of cheeses, from soft to aged, as well as top quality extra virgin olive oil.

Together with their still active parents, the brothers Marco and Massimo Trapanotto show us their cheese dairy, immersed in a breathtaking landscape, and take us on a tour; from milking to aging.

“In 1965”, tells us Massimo Trapanotto, “my father Sebastian brought his sheep here in a freight train. It was the period when Tuscans were moving from the country towards the city, so my father was able to find fertile land”.

“He was a sharecropper for prince Corsini in Barberino where he met my mother, daughter of Sicilian immigrants, and they married. Together, in the 1980’s, they opened a business  where Marco and I have worked with them since we were young”.

“We are one of the few who follows production from beginning to end”, continues Massimo, “and the farm currently has 500 Sardinian sheep and 3.000 olive trees, from which we produce an organic IGP oil. The oil is 100% ‘green’, thanks to the installation of PV panels”.

“Our cheeses are handmade”, he explains, “respectiing nature. Above all we produce marzolino, fresh and aged, and toscanello, a typically Tuscan cheese which is eaten with fava beans or pears and has a soft consistency and a sweet taste”.

“Over the years we distinguished ourselves with ‘Bastiano ricotta’, he continues. “Following a Sicilian recipe created in the age of Homer, it is prepared by adding fig leaves to the mix; this ingredient gives the cheese its sweetness”.

“In addition to the agricultural markets in Empoli and Certaldo”, concludes the proprietor of the Vello d’Oro, “ we sell from home and in local stores. In 2007 we set up our farm stay with a tasting room for sampling our products”.