Our Stories

The story of the “Santo Stefano”

The story of the “Santo Stefano”

Our Stories

Once in country houses is housed both parents and friends eager to spend a few days surrounded by nature. Today those same houses have become valuable cottages that can accommodate dozens of visitors and tourists from all over the planet. There is a generational shift between the first world inhabited by today’s grandparents and managed and cared for their grandchildren. And this unconscious passing of the baton we find in the history of the farm “Santo Stefano”. There is a grandfather, Alberto Bernardini, and there’s grandson, Michele. Are next to each other. Have in front of them a basket full of produce. Among them there is an unbreakable bond that not even time can try to scratch. Are intertwined not only by the bond of kinship. Are intertwined because Alberto has given experience and tradition to the young “student.” Michele, then, has brought and will bring vigor and innovation throughout the company. A century of history, of community life, therefore, is told in a brand, the brand of the farm “Santo Stefano”.  This is the “common thread” that binds the whole family. Three generations in comparison, the grandfather Alberto, father Antonio with his mother Marinella and finally the second son Michele. Together they worked to transform a simple country farm in a farm with quality. Excellent productions such as olive oil, wine and organic honey and many of our guests who decide to spend their holidays in an enchanted paradise. The history of the estate “Santo Stefano” is lost in the mists of time. The family resides in the enchanted Bernardini Chio Valley since 1400. “It ‘was my uncle Fra’ Gregorio Billi, Abbot General of the Cistercian monks – says Antonio Bernardini – to reconstruct the family tree”.  A deep connection between the religious, the family and the silent valley of Castiglion Fiorentino. “Every year, summer came to our house. At that time – he continues – my parents owned a mill in Col De’ Bidone”. Here was a small church where the abbot is to pray. “For us guys – adds Antonio – his arrival was a real party.” Since then, much time has passed. Everything is quiet last, in the silent valley. Until 1985 when, in the wake of the young Michele, it was decided to turn an old farmhouse into a modern design but with deep roots. “We are back in motion – explain in unison Antonio and Marinella – the first goal was to find our place in the market. And to do that we had to gain a lot of preparation, competence and professionalism”.  While the band staged a house for the reception of visitors, the farm specializes in the production of olive oil, wine and honey, all organic products. “Today – tell unison father Antonio and his son Michele – we expect about 130 hives spread over 5 sites in Tuscany. Our aim is to create multiple types of honey to meet the many tastes of the customer. For this reason, we have also developed a special line where we mix honey 5% of fresh fruit, citrus apple berry. In this way the product is palatable to almost everyone”.  It exports flywheel. “From Hong Kong, the door noble East – support – to Finland”.  But the farm holidays “Santo Stefano” also produces extra virgin olive oil. “Olevm” its label. “We have about 600 olive trees – add – divided into three varieties: Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo”. Leading the production of the nectar of the gods. “We have 6 types of wine – tell Antonio and Michele – there are two red ‘Senaia’ and ‘Zoccoli’. A white ‘Venere’ dedicated to the beauty of the Valle di Chio comes from. A pink ‘Bocca di Rosa’, a pure Sangiovese, which took its name from the song by Fabrizio de André. It was an idea of my daughter Sara. We then have a doc vinsanto Valdichiana, classic dessert wine. But our masterpiece is represented by ‘Passium’, an extremely rare wine that is made from moldy grapes. In 2008-2010 was Awarded the Chimera as a dessert wine”. Hectares of vineyard totaled 4.5. And every year are produced from 8 to 12 thousand bottles. The vines, to stay in tune with the territory of origin, are native Tuscany. Even there is a unique story about it “Zoccoli” and “Passium.” Both wines come from the vineyards of historic Zoccoli, hence the name of the red wine, and it is said that in 400 Saint Bernardine of Siena, in that place, he planted the first vineyard. “We are the keepers of this ancient and at the same time fascinating job – says Antonio – and right in the crypt of the franciscan convent of clogs we set up a winery where we organize tastings. Only last year a group of 50 Japanese has participated in these rendez vous “. Today the farm “Santo Stefano” has 3 small units. But “we are moving – explain Antonio and Marinella – in receipt of international groups and families.” The interest is mainly oriented to both tours with tastings that the participation of course traditional Tuscan cuisine. “They love – they add – to eat what they cook.” So Marinella with her mother and mother-in-law gets in the kitchen and starts to churn out many delicacies. “There are enchanted – the woman says with a smile – when we make fresh macaroni”.  In the farm “Santo Stefano” You can not live a unique experience, but new and untested, it gives immediately the wonderful feeling of being in a familiar environment. “For us it is important – said Antonio Bernardini which by the way is the President of Friends of the Valle di Chio – the visitor living in contact with the company that hosts them and support them in the knowledge of the territory. The facilities and food and wine tell who we are, our roots as well as the historical and artistic wealth of Castiglion Fiorentino. Just take a walk on foot, on horseback, by bicycle along the many paths that run through our countryside, the paths through the woods and mountains to enjoy the views and the unusual encounters with wild animals and plants: farm means finding peace of mind and fortify the body! “

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