In the medieval village of Castellaro, in the verdant Argentina valley, in the province of Imperia, just a few kilometers from the shores of the sea of the Riviera dei Fiori, hides a small green oasis, divided into several plots for about 10 hectares in total and consisting of several olive groves of about 1200 plants of ancient Monocultivar Taggiasca on 2.5 hectares of land.
Add to this a beautiful vineyard facing south-east between the hills of Castellaro and Pompeiana, in a sunny green valley bathed by a stream, and a smaller vineyard, almost hidden in the historic center of the village: the picture is complete.
In this wonderful oasis, the Donzella family has been producing Extra Virgin Olive Oil for over a century.
The production was increased about forty years ago, thanks to the enthusiasm of Paolo Donzella, who decided to recover the ancient family tradition in his spare time, rediscovering the love for the land and for the gifts it produces.
In these last years his daughter Elena has taken the reins of the business, she also returned to her homeland after a professional change.
A first level technical taster at the ONAOO, Elena has lavished commitment, passion and dedication on the diffusion of the Podere’s EVO oil, including typical products of the territory, such as olives in brine and pitted in oil, pesto with garlic and without garlic, olive pâté, jams with local fruits.
The Taggiasca variety is among the most appreciated for the quality and delicacy of its oil as well as for the goodness of its table olives.
The olive trees of Podere Donzella are distributed throughout the territory in three hillside plots – Loago, Zerni and Zotti – which differ in altitude and, therefore, guarantee a different level of maturation and harvesting of the olives.
Harvested exclusively by hand, the olives are pressed within 8 hours of collection with the support of the latest technology, in selected mills in the area that work the product in a continuous cold cycle. In this way oxidation processes are avoided, maintaining high levels of polyphenols and quality.
Dolce Aida is the flagship of the company: a light fruity, ripe and elegant on the nose. Sweet but intense, with notes of almond and apple on the finish, freshly pressed it can be defined as medium fruity. The presence of bitter and spicy notes make it precious in cooking and ideal to be used, raw or cooked, on fish and vegetable dishes.
Numbered bottles to guarantee a limited production, as well as some selected wines from local wineries.
Noble and renowned native aromatic vine, famous from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, then almost completely lost because of phylloxera in the 19th century, it has been recently recovered thanks to the initiative of the viticulturist Eros Mammoliti and the oenologist Gian Piero Gerbi. The project involved the Region of Liguria, the University of Turin, with Professor Gerbi and the CNR, and gave birth to the Associazione Produttori Moscatello di Taggia.
DOC since 2012, the wine has been baptized Il Dottor Antonio, in honor of grandfather Antonio Donzella who proudly told his grandchildren about the beauty of his village, even celebrated in the novel of the same name by the Italian writer and patriot Giovanni Ruffini, famous in the second half of the nineteenth century, in which he narrated the natural beauties of Western Liguria, including “the little village” of Castellaro.
A very fragrant white wine from typical local vines.
Now known by many connoisseurs as L’Innominato, it comes from a vineyard located next to Moscatello and most probably benefits from its characteristic aromas.
Castellaro, the gayest village in the world (Giovanni Ruffini)