We are very pleased to bring you the review of Mondolio, the Venetiamagazine column, edited by Fabio Poli and Matteo Guidorizzi.

The Berici Hills are a continuous intersection of somewhat wild hills, far from the main urban centers.

The dirt roads and often inaccessible and unproductive terrain have meant that some farmhouses have been abandoned in recent decades
then submerged by vegetation.
It was by chance that Francesco Castegnaro in the 1990s, during a bike ride, discovered the old farm which has now become his home and the headquarters of his current profession as a producer of wines and EVO oil. He started with traditional vines, red tai, carmenère and a little garganega.
Then the olive trees were planted, about a thousand plants, rasara (the local biotype of the oil mill), leccino, maurino, grignano, pendolino, but also coratina.
We are at 300 meters above sea level, on the edge of the Gazzo valley; the company, completely immersed in the woodland, is entirely organically run.

The soils are quite fertile, of white limestone and ferrous stone that crumbles with temperature variations; the splendid renovation, the
panorama, silence and the siege of the woods make the place beautiful and mysterious.

There are three oils on the market: Oro, a blend with the citrus touch of Grignano, freshly cut grass and dried fruit, sweet with a nice spicy edge.

The Coratina monocultivar, cooked herbs, chard and radicchio, a touch of artichoke on the nose, strong bitterness and spiciness. Our preference, however, goes to EVO from Rasara monocultivar, vegetal hints of fresh mowing and aromatic herbs, hazelnut, green cocoa.

Also bitter and spicy in the mouth in balance with the sweet tendency.


Giornale di Vicenza – An all-German Carmenère on the hills of Zovencedo

An all-German Carmenère on the hills of Zovencedo

Colli Berici, the eighties.

Wandering here and there, two university students discover an old village of the seventeenth century, abandoned since the fifties.

The electricity in that remote corner of Zovencedo never came.
Thus, after the Second World War, the families who live there emigrated to France.

Isolated place, 360 degree view of the surrounding hills and the Gazzo valley. Name: «The caverns».
And if the name means something, it must have been really bad.

But it is suggestive enough to ignite the imagination of one of the two students, Francesco Castegnaro: a career as a lawyer before him, a great passion for nature within himself.

Castegnaro thinks that having a property in such a place can only make sense if agricultural activity is restored.

A few years later, he arranges the twenty-three hectares of land, and on an area of ​​three hectares, enhancing the existing terraces, olive cultivation resumes.

We are in 1992.
A few years later he clears another 5 hectares, and plants a vineyard there. Thus was born the Del Rèbene farm, which takes its name from the local road that acts as a border to the north of the plot (…)

Loretta Simoni

Life On The Hill – The olive tree of the hills: on the Berici since the thirteenth century

From the Blog “Life On The Hill”

The best known of the documents attesting to the presence of the olive tree and the production of olive oil on the Berici Hills, dates back to 1268.

In a long and detailed exposition of the rights of the then Bishop, in the territory of Barbarano Vicentino and neighboring areas, the custody of vines and olive trees and the production of oil were treated.
However, it seems that the olive tree arrived in Veneto before the year 1000, for liturgical purposes related to the Christian religion.
The Venetian domination gave impetus to the expansion of cultivation, which experienced abandonments, due to the onset of famines, and subsequent resumptions, such as that of the second post-war period and the most recent, linked to the project of a quality oil.


The PDO extra virgin olive oil from the Berici Hills

The oil of the Berici Hills is a precious and high quality oil. Most of the producers are gathered in Olibea, an association of Berici olive growers, which together with local institutions and trade associations started an experimental project on olive and oil quality in 2000.
The results have been excellent, and have brought many awards and high level awards to the product.

The olives from which it is extracted with a continuous cycle process, are mainly of four types (frantoio, leccino, pendolino, rasara) and give a marked green-gold color oil, with a strong taste, a fruity aroma of various intensities, with hints of cooked vegetables and aromas of bitter almond.
About twenty municipalities in the territory of the Berici Hills are affected by this production.

[Life On The Hill]