Mannucci Droandi is a family farm located in the hamlet named Caposelvi, about 35 km far from Arezzo.
The production is based mainly on olive oil and wine according to the standards of organic farming. The C.G.D.O. (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin) “Chianti Colli Aretini” and the T.G.I. (Typical Geographical Indication) “Barsaglina” are included among the fine wines of the company. The olive oil produced is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil D.P.O. (Denomination of Protected Origin) “Chianti Classico” .
The farm consists of two areas: Campolucci and Ceppeto. The former is located on the eastern slopes of the Chianti Mountains at an altitude of 250 m above sea level. It has been owned by the Mannucci Droandi family since 1929 and it is composed by a large farmhouse hosting the corporate center and the cellar, different fields alternating with forests of oaks, pines and oaks. Around 1970, the owner (Roberto Giulio Droandi)’s parents planted for the first time specialized vineyards and olive groves.
The second part of the estate, Ceppeto, consists of vineyards and olive groves planted around a large, square stone farmhouse and surrounded by dense oak and chestnut woodland. It is situated on the west side of the Chianti mountains at 350 m above sea level.
Roberto Droandi and his wife Maria Grazia Mammuccini consider the product quality the crucial aim of their way of working. They were able to adapt the mindset of the farm to high standards of production through huge investments in equipment, in state-of-the-art machinery and in modernization works of the processing plants and through the collaboration of qualified experts (enologists and agronomists).
Furthermore, they are committed to develop an eco-friendly viticulture. In order to reduce the use of anti-weed, anti-parasitic and chemically-derived fertilizers, the company have collaborated for about ten years with the “Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura” (Section of Arezzo) of the Agriculture and Forestry Policies Ministry. Specifically, they are involved in some projects aimed at the development of methods for monitoring and fighting against fungal or parasitic weeds and have contributed to the building of an experimental vineyard collecting vine varieties at risk of extinction in order to guarantee the “Preservation of grapevine germplasm of Arezzo area” (as stated in the Regional Authorization of Tuscany).
The farm is located in a hilly area characterised by wine and olive oil production. The farmer works on biodiversity conservation, growing varieties that risk to be lost (foglia tonda, barsaglina, pugnitello). Soil fertility will be improved by permanent grass on the soil. This year, chicken manure has been used to support the plants stressed by adverse climatic conditions in the last two years: one year of high water scarcity, followed by a year of strong rains. Such climate had a direct impact on yields and diseases.
Permanent grass, mainly based on grass family, will be improved with the presence of legume crops to optimise on-farm nutrient recycling.
The main aim of the implementation plan in this farm is to introduce the compost of on-farm residues from wine production and vineyards management.
Concerning agroforestry, there is a rich natural biodiversity due to the presence of forests in the farm, in the border of the fields. Another interesting element of innovation that this farm will introduce is the presence of chicken in the vineyard. The number of animals, limited by the organic regulation (834/07) is not sufficient to contribute in nutrient recycling. However, the choice of a race at risk of extinction makes this action to improve the farm biodiversity conservation.
To learn more, please visit the farm’s website http://www.mannuccidroandi.com/
Special credit goes to Klaus-Peter Wilbois for the photographs published in this page.