In the heart of the Sicilian countryside, the Tenuta Serravalle farm has been run by the Grimaldi family since the 19th century. Renowned in the past for the cultivation of citrus fruits and for one of the first Anglo-Arab horse farms in Italy, it is currently a leading company in the citrus and cereal sector, a virtuous example of good agro-environmental practices for sustainable agriculture.
The heart of the company is an old farmhouse, dominated by the medieval castle of Serravalle and the nucleus of an ancient village, with a renovated granary, the room that once belonged to the teacher and a rural church from the 1400s. In the background, Etna, covered with snow until late spring.
The farm is located in the Mineo area (CT, SS 417 CT-Gela) a few kilometers from Caltagirone, the city of ceramics with its wonderful baroque center. In an area suited to the cultivation of blood oranges and rich in sites of archaeological interest (Piazza Armerina with the Villa Romana del Casale and Aidone with the Venus of Morgantina), it borders on fields and flowery meadows.
The estate is included in the IGP areal of Sicilian blood orange and cereals. It covers an area of 200 hectares planted with citrus groves (PGI Sicilian blood orange, Navelina and Lanelate, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins) and durum wheat (old and modern varieties), field beans, chickpeas and hay.
The whole area above the citrus and cereal crops has been planted with typical Mediterranean maquis trees, with the aim of re-establishing the natural wooded environment. The maintenance of the forest is carried out through grazing by donkeys, to maximize carbon sequestration and prevent fires.
During the flowering of citrus fruits there are about a thousand hives. Beekeeping is carried out with extreme attention to the well-being of the bees and in full awareness of the surrounding ecosystems. The visits to the hives of our beekeepers take place in a low voice, and never affect the vital reserve of the colonies. The apiary from which the honey comes is protected by the shade of the trees and the agri-forestry that surrounds it allows the swarms to be satisfied even during the winter.
The values of Tenuta Serravalle are those of an agriculture that respects the work of men and all animal and plant species, to contribute to the maintenance of the ecosystem and biodiversity.
Since 2016, Tenuta Serravalle, in addition to the primary agricultural production, has been producing and marketing a line of honeys not subjected to processing that could alter its natural beneficial properties and jams based on citrus fruits and local fruit strictly guaranteed by the principle of zero residue agropharmaceuticals on the fruit and from the use, instead of sugar, of honey processed at low temperatures to maintain its natural organoleptic properties. The materials used are all natural from local and Italian beehives, gardens.
The farm hosts experimental activities for the implementation of cultivation systems with low environmental impact (eco-friendly): soil conservation, carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, reduction of the use of agropharmaceuticals, water and energy saving, monitoring of climate change, reforestation with essences typical of the Mediterranean flora, new and ancient varieties of wheat.
The experimental activity is also carried out in collaboration with national and foreign research centers such as the University of Catania, the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, the University of Wageningen and the Virginia Tec University (USA). Respect for the environment characterizes all stages of production and guarantees the consumer traceability and transparency.
It also hosts cultural and artistic activities such as retracing the journey to Sicily of the famous neoclassical architect by supporting members of the Sir John Soane's Museum in London.
Since 2015, the Company has been carrying out educational activities with schools of all grades and levels.
Today the management of the company is carried out by Gerardo Diana, who after obtaining the Bachelor of science in Dairy Science at the Texan AM University (USA) decided to devote himself to the estate that has been in the family for generations. Farmer by vocation, President of the PGI Sicilian Blood Orange Consortium, Member of the Expert Group Market Observatory Citrus at the European Community, Technical Advisor of Idea Agro (Private Investment Fund on Agriculture) and key figure for sustainable and low-cost agriculture impact in Sicily, former National President of the youth of Confagricoltura, Regional President of Confagricoltura Sicily, National President of the Agricultural Assistance Centers of Confagricoltura and National President of the citrus section of Confagricoltura.
The multifunctional aspect of the company (hospitality and collateral activities, processed products) is managed by his wife, Mariarosa Magnano di San Lio, who has decided to leave her legal specialization in the defense of intellectual property and trademarks to work alongside her husband in the management of the family business.