Farmers of the lost fruits

Farmers of the lost fruits

by Luca e Sara Carbone

Luca e Sara Carbone

Luca e Sara Carbone

MEET OUR
WINEMAKER
31/DEC/2017
end of project
219
days left
020
relatives

In the dialect from Melfi, “la vigna”, literally “the vineyard”, identifies a small piece of land where the farmer used to grow not only grapes, but also olive trees, fruit trees, and vegetables. Today that “vigna” has disappeared. Luca and Sara Carbone intend to populate the areas around the vineyards with varieties of fruit being abandoned.

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About the project

Our vineyards sit on a beautiful hill in Contrada Braide, in the village of Melfi, in the proximity of Toppo San Paolo, the first historical crater of the ancient volcano called Vulture, dominating the landscape.
If you take your eyes off Vulture and look around you will notice that the landscape is missing something: trees. In the lands that emperor Frederic II preferred for the hunting with hawks and falcons, now only wheat and other cereals grow.
You can still quite frequently see kites and buzzards fly in the sky and dive to catch their prey, but they find a landscape very different from the medieval one, and much more prone to landslides and slips.
What is missing is “la vigna” , literally “the vineyard”, which is a word that in Italian signifies only “grapes”, but that in the Melfi area, for ages, meant a small piece of land where the farmer would grow not only grapes, but also olive trees, fruit trees, vegetables: a poor vineyard that would mean a lot in the daily sustenance of the peasant family and who shaped the ecosystem of the Vulture-Melfese countryside.

Our project is simple: to safeguard the biodiversity in order to strengthen the productivity of the ecosystem, decrease the vulnerability to natural disasters, increase the health of vineyards, contribute to the recovering of the original landscape and avoid the depletion of the cultural traditions.

We would like to populate the areas around our vineyards with the varieties of fruit most typical and most in danger of extinction: the Cavaliere cherries, pink, big, plump; the Zitelle apples, yellow and pink, with the typical slightly-flat shape; olive trees of the Cima di Melfi or Olivella del Vulture varieties. We could not forget about the marroncino (little chestnut) of Melfi, San Michele variety, or the Settembrina, also known as Pistolese, then the Rossina, with its mildly red-coloured husk, the Nostrana, or Melfitan chestnut, by far the most widespread, and the Reggiolana, nicknamed “muscatidd”, because as fruitful and tasty as the Moscato grapes.
Then there are species that we cannot consider indigenous, but still were very important a while ago for the peasant culture and very common in the “vigna”: jujubes and rowans, fruits that were left to dry up and then given to kids: the candies of the past.
We need just one tree per type to start, and maybe then also our neighbors could fancy to plant a Lucan tree in their vineyards.

Luca e Sara Carbone

The Winemaker

Two siblings. Luca and Sara. They are in love with a dream, so much that they decide to abandon other paths and careers and to pursue it: wine making.
They define themselves as "modern artisans who look up to the sky as soon as they wake up, but run to the winery to make decanting without prior checking on the moon."
They are convinced that the necessary ingredients to making good wine are only two: good quality grapes, and time.

Luca e Sara Carbone

Update \6

03/Jul/2016

The first fruits

Here we are. A little tree, bigger than others, gave us the first fruits: sour cherries.

We are ready to make huge quantities of jam starting from the next years, it would be great if someone of our wine relatives could come and pick the fruits with us.

Vineyards in this period of the year are really wonderful and blooming, even if grape is still under completion. Vegetation is luxuriant and the rows are full of flowers. We can easily imagine next years all the fruits around them.

Here you find pictures of our trees, some of them are faster in growing, some others are slower, only a shoot, but the visual impact is gradually changing, there are indeed little trees, no more only shoots, in the landscape now.

Present to the trees call are figs, sour cherries (lots), cherries, apple, peach, apricot, medlar, and this time we also have a jujube tree.

We are keen to highlight that the limongello apple tree planted by our winecousin Marilyn and the sour cherry tree planted by our winesister Lauren and her family seem to definitely show a special vigor.

The first fruits

Update \5

10/Jan/2016

A hard beginning

2016 brought a bad surprise to our Sara and Luca: during the night of January 4, some thieves broke into the cellar causing huge damages to the structure and to the machineries but, most of all, stealing 3,000 bottles ready for the trade. For these great winemakers who put body and soul into their job, is a terrible act that destroyed months of effort.

A few days before this event, Sara and Luca made a Happy New Year video: in a very special role, our winemakers have been immortalized in the vigna while hanging the plaque in honor of their Wine Relatives and Winefriends who follow them in this magnificent adventure.

We want to dedicate them too this joyful message to bring them hope and positivity. Support Sara and Luca becoming their relatives and Winefriends; we must show our love and give them a help to overcome this difficult moment!

Sara and Luca, don’ give up!

Update \4

06/Aug/2015

Ready for an intense autumn!

Summer is usually a quiet period for winemakers. The calm before the storm: the harvest. In South Italy we do the harvest lately, usually in October or in November.
We have great childhood memories of that period of the year, all related to the frenzy and the vitality of the activities in the vineyard.

It will be the same also this year. We will let nature take its cours, our lost fruits need calm... and some water.

For us, it will be a very great autumn, full of initiatives. This October we will open our cellar for the Chestnut Festival, and we have some interesting news for this event. We have also to start the second part of our project for the lost fruits. We want to organize a party for our relatives at the end of the project ... By the way, have you got any plans for Christmas?

We wish you a wonderful summer!

Ready for an intense autumn!

Update \3

16/Jun/2015

Life and scents of the first fruits

This is the most fascinating season of the year! Nature is green and lush, everything comes to new life, flowers and fruits perfume the air.

It is time to see what happened to our little trees. All of our apple trees, quinces, Zitella and Limoncelle are growing up with many leaves and new twigs. Also the pomegranate, the medlar tree, the black cherries that show their first fruits, and two figs, the apricot tree and the peach tree. Sadly the jujube is missing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to adapt to the new site.
We are very proud of our new plants, seeing them near the vines is magnificent. But our work to recreate the “vigna” and to replant the lost trees has just begun.
New chestnut trees have been found, now we are waiting the right moment to plant them without any risks. Service trees and jujubes are ready too. The search goes on...

Life and scents of the first fruits

Update \2

23/Mar/2015

The first plants

Winter months were dedicated to search the ancient orchards in our countryside. The rather sad sensation we were left with in this wandering was to discover the absence of plants history memory, partially because of the property handovers of the "vigna povera", usually of scarce commercial value, and partially because the very attention to the origin of plants slowly faded away. Today the nurseryman provides the fruit plant already grown up, so that in a couple of years it is ready to bear fruit without much effort.

Eventually we meet with Michele, who instead loves the apples of his orchard. Michele is a farmer pensioner and his health condition limits him a bit on the fields. He knows the history of every one of his plants. His heart is with the Zitelle and with the Limoncelle, two ancient varieties of apples.

The Limoncella, he tells us, is very fragrant, tiny and oblong, yellow and full of small black freckles. "You don't give it two cents" he says "until when you bite it, then you won't forget it".

The Zitella – literally, "spinster" – is instead much bigger, in the good years. When it's ripe it gets a pinky colour. We wonder and ask Michele what could be the origin of the name. He says he does not know, but surely to look at that pink and firm apple's face you do get the image in your mind of a young and cute maid.

Happy to contribute to our project, he gives us a stripling of zitella and one of limoncella, our two first ancient fruits.

So we wait for the first day without rain and we immediately go and plant our striplings, together with a tree of black cherries, one peach and two apricot trees.

Soon will arrive also jujubes and cherries, but this is the next story.

The first plants

Update \1

26/Jan/2015

Alberto and Mario

We are so excited to have our first cousins who believe in our "Farmers of the lost fruits" project! A special thanks goes to Alberto and Mario.
Spring is coming and very soon we will plant the first trees.
Follow us and join us, we need your support to make our vineyard rich and luxuriant!

February 14-16 we will be at Sorgente del Vino in Piacenza with The Winefathers team. Meet-and-greet, we are waiting for you!

Alberto and Mario

Rewards

Winefriend
11
Donation
  • your name written next to the tree
  • Individually numbered certificate of winefriend sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winefriend
Winecousin
8
100 €
  • 1 bottle with customised label
  • a complimentary tasting of local food
  • 50% discount on the purchase of 6 bottles from Luca e Sara Carbone on www.thewinefathers.com
  • your name written next to the tree
  • Individually numbered certificate of winecousin sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winecousin
Wineuncle/Wineaunt
0
200 €
  • 6 mixed bottles with customised label
  • a complimentary tasting of local food
  • 50% discount on the purchase of 6 bottles from Luca e Sara Carbone on www.thewinefathers.com
  • your name written next to the tree
  • Individually numbered certificate of wineuncle sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Wineuncle/Wineaunt
Winebrother/Winesister
1
500 €
  • 1 night for 2 people in Melfi
  • visit to vineyards, winery and places of interest in the neighborhood
  • a complimentary tasting of local food
  • lucanian cooking class
  • 6 mixed free bottles with customised label
  • 50% discount on the purchase of 12 bottles from Luca e Sara Carbone on www.thewinefathers.com
  • your name in the cellar and next to the tree
  • Individually numbered certificate of winebrother sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winebrother/Winesister
Winefather/Winemother
0
1000 €
  • 2 nights for 2 people in Melfi
  • special lunch in the cellar with us
  • harvest or any activity in the vineyards appropriate for the period
  • visit to vineyards, winery and places of interest in the neighborhood
  • lucanian cooking class
  • 12 mixed free bottles with customised label
  • 50% discount on the purchase of 12 bottles from Luca e Sara Carbone on www.thewinefathers.com
  • a complimentary tasting of local food
  • your name written in the cellar and next to the tree
  • Individually numbered certificate of winefather sent via email by The Winefathers
Become
Winefather/Winemother