Cascina Iuli is the working home and farm of one of the founding families, Fabrizio Iuli and Summer Wolff. The 500-year-old brick cascina is the oldest in the little village of Montaldo. The town currently has a year-round population of approximately 70 people. This number reaches just over 100 in the summer months. The one little road up to the village is used only by the 20 families that share this hilltop as there is no ‘outlet’ or connecting roads, only paths into the hills behind us which are used by hikers and horses.
Summer and Fabrizio’s two little boys are the 5th generation of Iulis to be born in this village (they were also actually both born at home in the Cascina, as their Iuli ancestors before them). The valley and its fields, vineyards and forests behind the cascina are all owned and/or farmed by Fabrizio and Summer. Before Fabrizio, his father, grandfather and great grandfather before him farmed these same vines and fields. This valley has never seen a chemical, it has never been sprayed with any insecticide or herbicide, and never will be. It has been certified organic since the late 90’s, but has been organic its entire existence before the term organic was born as we know it today.
The farm is 30+ hectares of orchards, gardens, vineyards, fields and forests. The forests have been left to thrive but are maintained by the villagers, and act not only as a protection from the surrounding hills and potential non-organic farming, but as a home to the many species of animals that share this special hilltop with the small community of families. The Iuli family farm has laying hens, two goats, two dogs, a cat, and a few pet turtles; all of which are free to roam the farm together with the children (other than the goats which would eat our grapes if we kept them free :).
The Monferrato is an area with an abundance of tradition and natural beauty, a hidden gem that the mainstream tourist circles have not yet discovered. Nestled between the cities of Milan and Turin, it is rural and quiet with the pace of life of 'once upon a time', yet only an hour from Italy's largest international airport. Here there is still the possibility to find large tracts of land which can provide a buffer against the encroachment of modern life. The cost of living is affordable to all, and young families and farmers alike can still afford to buy a house and piece of land. And then, there’s the wine...