By 1996, after 40 years of neglect, Monte Valentino produced nothing but the berries of the plants which grew wild in its fields. Because of their love of the place, Fabrizia and Nicola were sure that they could revive production and succeeded in doing so by dint of hard work.
Today their property of about 40 hectares consists of woods, fields and orchards. The yield ranges from wood for fuel, to cereals, forage, vegetables and pulses. As hill-farming does not allow small producers to be competitive unless they produce specialist or alternative products, Fabrizia and Nicola are organic farmers focusing on the planting of particular fruit trees and the ‘visciole’ cherries.
The ‘ visciola’ , a sour cherry [prunus cerasus], thrives in the region of Pietralunga. Fabrizia and Nicola combed the area for wild plants which they then transferred to their land. Today they have around 600 fruiting trees at the heart of Monte Valentino. The liqueur known as Sollucchero di Monte Valentino is made according to the original , 100 year-old recipe of Nicola’s great-grandafther, Giuseppe Polchi.