Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Chianti and Cashmere are 2 words that may sound “elite” according to their value: a famous world tourist venue and a precious fiber from which soft, warm products are produced.

But the New Yorker, Nora Kravis, and her Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm, although successful, seems to be a story made of mud and hard work, rolled up sleeves and bureaucratic battles. It is a reality far from the stereotype of the naive foreigner who comes to live in Chiantishire to escape from the big city or to retire after a career.

At the beginning of the 1970’s, Nora, then a horse trainer, passing by the estate “La Peninsula”, in the valle of Volpaia near Radda in Chianti, fortuitously chose her reign.

It is an enchanted place, far from the rest of the world. Nora graduated with a degree in Veterinary medicine from the University of Pisa and practiced with the neighbors’ chickens, sheep and dogs, starting with two local goats in 1988, when she started the first flock of cashmere goats in Europe.

This unique experience made its mark on the Chianti territory and became always more visible, reaching an international level. Her activity connotes the values of productive sustainability as well as that of grazing. Today, she raises more than 200 goats on 7 hectares of land.

They are watched over by 11 guard dogs. It is the largest goat breeding activity in Europe and the only center of reproduction and genetic selection of the Italian cashmere goat.

Her sensibility regarding wolves and the choice of non-lethal measures for the predator have gained her recognition from the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, the global community dedicated to the support of products which contribute to agricultural economic vitality while maintaining coexistence with wild animals risking extinction.

Nora collaborates with public and private groups and acts as consultant for projects which use cashmere goats for the reclaiming of abandoned or marginal areas.

Nora also has grazing contracts with some local farms, distribution teams of goats which clean up and recuperate uncultivated land.

With the aid of mobile electric fences and a few watchdogs, Nora’s cashmere goats graze the fields of the Montevertine, Monterinaldi, Vignaveccie and Badia a Coltibuono wineries. Thanks to her love of goats and her activity, Nora has integrated with the rural Chianti territory and has become a guardian of biodiversity.

Cosimo Ciampoli