After the filming of the BBC 2 show ‘Second Chance Summer’ finished, I stayed in Tuscany for a couple of weeks and went out to meet some small organic wine producers in the region. One of the farms I went to was Il Civettaio, where I met Gregorio. When we first met and started talking I said to him “So where in France are you from?” He is a great, great guy so he laughed and said he was from the north of Italy. Way to go Rob, how to make friends…
The farm is set up on a hill with the most magnificent views out towards the ocean and on a clear day you can see the Mediterranean sea. Il Civettaio translates as The Owl Place, and every time people come to stay they bring him little owls from all over the world.
Gregorio worked in senior management for a few companies before he realised that he was not living the life he wanted. When he bought the farm it needed a lot of work and he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and get his hands dirty. The farms stands out as you drive near Paganico as it’s a reddish pink coloured house sitting atop a hill.
The farm is spread out across 7.5 hectares which is largely the vineyards and a few olive trees. The winery produces 30,000/35,000 bottles of wine a year and the full spectrum of red, white and rose. The entire estate is organic which means a lot more work for Gregorio and his team, but it really pays off and you can taste it in his wines.
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