Take a sneak peek at a NEW vineyard visit we’ve added to our Assaggio Toscana bike tour. The small, organic winery offers our guests an intimate view into how a family in Tuscany has turned the business of making wine into more than just a hobby...it’s undoubtedly a deep passion shared by the entire clan.
Podere La Madia farm is a family-run business located in the Valdarno–in Arezzo’s province, along the Setteponti road on the Pratomagno slopes–and right at the start of our Assaggio Toscana bike tour. Read on to learn all about this special place and the family behind it all.
"Only nature can decide the fate of the plants; the climate must be kind.”
-Lucia, La Madia
I am always amazed at how central families are to many successful businesses in Tuscany. Time and again, I come across stories of fathers handing on the knowledge they have accumulated to their sons and of mothers passing on their experience to their daughters.
Behind the success of Podere La Madia, an organic and vegan winery and olive farm, which is a featured visit on many of our custom bike tours in Tuscany. Here we meet a wonderfully cohesive Tuscan family. The farm is run by Lucia, her husband Carlo, and their son, Giacomo, who now has children of his own. What is striking about their story is the influence of the younger generation. It was Giacomo who, growing up on the family farm, developed a set of vegan values that eventually won over the whole family. The most important decision the family took, in the light of Giacomo’s convictions, was to become completely vegan and to run the family business according to a strict vegan philosophy. The farm had always been organic and the decision to become vegan only enhanced their overall goals involving deep respect for nature and animals.
The vineyard and olive farm now only uses fertilizers that are certified to contain products that are not derived from animal sources. The family also puts nutrients back into the soil by planting crops such as clover, lupins, and alfalfa. They have even introduced ladybugs to control insect pests without pesticides. The ladybug has become the company logo and is found on the labels of their products.
The family philosophy is summed up by Lucia’s description of how Zolfino beans are grown on their land: “We don’t use any fertilizers to treat the soil either before or after sowing, and not even when the shoots appear and start to grow….only nature can decide the fate of the plants…..the climate must be kind.”
The family looks after three separate vineyards close to the main house and winery, growing and cultivating Sangiovese, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Colorino, Canaiolo, and Pinot Noir.
La Madia embraces an environmental safeguarding concept, respecting nature and eliminating the employment of phytochemicals. This totally family-managed winery uses a minimum use of sulfites and best-quality grapes, so the wine can be produced mostly in the vineyard and only “refinement” takes place in the cellar.
They have 10 hectares of land–seven of which are dedicated to the olive groves and the remaining three to the vineyards. They produce extra-virgin olive oil and wine.
It all started in 1996, when they bought the first plot of land with around 150 olive trees. Later on, they decided to expand the business and acquire other pieces of land, including more olive groves and vineyards.
Since the beginning, the family's goal was to simply respect the organic treatment and criterion. They have never used chemical fertilizers or treatments to protect the olive trees or vines from parasites and fungal diseases. They have been an ICEA organic certified (and Vegan OK) farm since 2015.
Join us on our Assaggio Toscana bike tour and enjoy a taste of delizioso organic wine made right in the breathtaking Tuscany countryside.