A Few Words About Us
The history of Tenuta di Casteldardo
The modern history of Tenuta di Casteldardo begins in the 1960s with the end of share cropping, which had characterized the previous centuries and survived longer in Val Belluna than in most other areas. Thus, the large farming company, which had witnessed centuries of seasonal rites for hay, wheat, corn, and dairy cattle, was suddenly populated by a hundred trotter mares from a famous national stable, allowing them to birth and wean their foals here.
The first transformation
Thus, the millenary appearance of a typical Belluno farming company was radically transformed, once characterized by rows of vineyards supported by mulberries, willows, and a few sparse fruit plants, among which lawns and arable land were rotated. The vineyardswere removed to eliminateany iron wire, which was dangerous for the mares, and what was left quickly degraded and died. The enclosures for the free-roaminghorsesgrew toa considerable size, transforming everything into a huge meadow.
The second phase
This situation was only transitory however, and a new transformation soon arrived. At the end of the seventies, the horses were removed and the fruitful land was divided into well-defined plots, cleared with modern technology, and put into production. It was an enormous undertaking and the first few years were dedicated to extracting large quantities of stone, but within a few years thefruits of this labor allowed Casteldardo to become an avant-garde corn company with the most advancedagronomic techniques.
Agriculture and animal husbandry
The company enjoyed high and constant production, while also maintaining acarefully curated aesthetic, and soon became home to demonstration fields for an important international seed house. But it didn’t end there. It also had a game farm that supplied and supported the restocking of local hunting reserves for many years,as well asa long history of raspberry farming.
Finally, the steeper areas of the terrain were fenced and dedicated to sheep farming. As if all that wasn’t enough, Casteldardo hosted the very first tests for soy plants in Italy. Within two years, soy beans became part of the company’s cultural plans and entered the crop rotation. The primary aim is production but always combined with enhancing the natural order and beauty of the countryside.
Tenuta di Casteldardo is still evolving
The forests, hedges, canals, and roads are the result of almost maniacal care and take up plenty of resources each year, but they greatlycontribute toa natural beauty that is unparalleled throughout the Valley. The seasons continue to follow one after another, but a new revolution is on the way. Large areas of arable land began to transform into vineyards in 2013. The territory continues to undergo still moretransformations, such as leveling, merging of land parcels, and new roads.
Once again, aesthetics play a very important role. Some particularly symbolic plants have beenfavored and highlighted, aesthetically important plant rows are regularly maintained, the ancient mulberry trees that have lived for over a hundred years have been rearranged, the two ancient Carpenade trees are cleaned and pruned, and finally, fifteen hectares of vineyards have been planted. The initial vinesare all white, with Glera, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, and Müller-Thurgauas the main varieties. The soil iswell suited to vine cultivation and the quality is excellent.
The land is exposed to the warm afternoon wind that blows from the San Boldo Pass towards the mountains in the north, ensuring excellent ventilation and resulting in a significantly reduced threat of mold and mildew. Here too, the company uses the most modern agronomic techniques and pays great attention to the environment, meaning that weeds are quickly eliminated with mechanical techniques and treatments are performed with the most modern recycling sprayers.
The company today
And now we have reached the present day, with our company motto: “Never stop!“. We already have a new initiative planned, thanks to a fresh young workforce that bringsin new ideas. Do animal proteins have too big of a carbon footprint with excessive pollution?! Well, let’s go back to ancient Belluno traditions and produce the protein of our ancestors: beans. The Valley is actually home to a world-famous legume, the Lamon bean. It has a very long historyand is probably the ancestor of all Borlotti beans, the delicate white Gialèt bean, now protected by Slow Food, and the Bala Rossa bean, another Borlotto bean that has fed the local population for centuries. And so a new experiment begins, with the aim of diversifying the company’s activities once more.