The twenty-fifth September of the Nineteen-twenty-one…” so said the contract with my great grandfather, Giovanni Spasari – here with his wife and his nephews – bought the “ two country estates in Badolato, Pantano and Castellace, sold for thirty-five- thousand lira”.
This man – a building entrepreneur with a huge passion for the countryside – considered the estate as a quiet place where he could spend – jointly with his wife Antonietta Ciciarelli, the first female school teacher in Badolato, their unique daughter Franceschina, the son in law Salvatore Cosenza, and 8 nephews – the Calabrian sunny summer staying away from the noise and the heat of the village.
In the six hectares of land, mostly with olive groves, Giovanni planted the vineyard, fig trees and almond trees; the irrigated area – which included an underground water source – was dedicated to cultivation of citrus and peach trees.
On the highest hill – with a stunning view over the blue sea of Squillace gulf, and the ancient villages of Badolato and Santa Caterina – he built the great colonial mansion with a stable, a sheepfold and a place where the grapes were squeezed.
In front of the mansion there was a wide farmyard paved with bricks where the wheat and other products were dried, but most of the times it hosted guests who were returning from the hunting trips, they used to stay and taste the traditional local kitchen.
For a long time the three-hundred olive trees and the colonial mansion have witnessed the deep passion for the land until the 1943 when a Luftwaffe aircraft escaping from the enemy airplanes dropped a load of bombs over the property, tearing apart the great house
That passion, which never extinguished, revives in the dream of making an high quality extra virgin olive oil in Calabria – land with a strong legacy of olive culture and second Italian producer but it’s not well known for the quality of the oil.
After a long period of abandon and many adventures, in 2015 I decided to found Tenuta Pantano, the agricultural company aims to revive the estate and to manufacture an high quality product which respects the environmental sustainability rules and nature times.
In 2015 Tenuta Pantano planted 1200 new olive trees (coratina, leccino and moraiolo cultivar), it built the water well and the drip irrigation system, it also cooperated with some university professors in order to develop the plantation and improve the quality of the product. It invested in machineries for the olive harvesting and the oil storage, following the most advanced and modern techniques.
In the meantime, a process has been launched in order to pursue the vegetative recovery of the 300 secular olive trees, through targeted pruning and fertilization actions; the pedological characteristics of the soil are studied for the correct nourishment of the plants, and reform interventions are carried out to obtain planting layouts capable of allowing breeding forms suitable for the use of the most consolidated agronomic techniques.
In the 2017 harvest campaign, the olives production from secular trees resumes, but the turning point is 2019 with the first harvest from the youngest trees, planted just four years earlier.