Fattoria Lavacchio Winery and Estate has started a new type of tourism called ‘Agrotourism’. It is a lifestyle beyond organic and sustainability. During your stay here everything you consume is grown locally, either on the farm itself or from neighboring farms.
Since 1981 the farm has been organic, before organic was a term many people knew and without knowing that it worked as well as it does. The owners have taken the lifestyle one step further and received a certification in biodynamic agriculture and focus on viticulture with their vineyard.
The estate and resort
Fattoria Lavacchio estate covers approximately 110 hectares (271.8 acres) with four farmhouses spread approximately 250 meters (820 feet) apart. All the farmhouses have been carefully restored to the Tuscan style with modern amenities. With nine double rooms, six suites, and seven apartments, all named after a wine produced or a variety of olive, there is a space to suit everyone’s needs.
The main house, Casabella, contains double rooms and family suites. Here you will also find the reception, relaxation rooms with fireplaces, and a games room for the kids. There is also the outdoor bar and swimming pool open from May to September for guests. Breakfast is also served on the main floor of Casabella with indoor and outdoor dining available. The buffet breakfast has hot and cold items including eggs, local meats and cheeses, seasonal fruit, homemade fruit cakes, yogurt, jams, and more.
Casanova is ideal for those who want a very quiet and relaxing space. Monterifrassine has a large outdoor space with a barbeque area. Casa del Mugnaio is perfect for families with its private swimming pool and large garden area.
The organic farm
The 110-hectare (217.8 acre) estate includes 30 hectares (74 acres) of vineyard and 45 hectares (111 acres) of olive groves. There’s also 6 hectares (14 acres) of cultivated land with ancient grains, 9 hectares (22 acres) of natural producing truffle, and 1 hectare (2.4 acres) for fruit and vegetable garden. Everything grown on the farm is organic; done in a biodynamic way. Meaning pesticides, chemicals, or fertilizers of any kind, not even “organic” ones are used, nor have they for decades. Knowing what types of minerals and elements are given and taken from the soil by specific crops is how it is done.
“Being organic or biodynamic is not hard like most people say it is. You just have to know which type of crops to plant. Every crop gives something to the soil and takes something from the soil. When you know this, it is easy to plant the right crop that gives the soil everything it needs to produce the best and healthiest harvest.” Faye, the estate owner told me.
Mulino a Vento Restaurant
Mulino a Vento Restaurant has been an integral part of the farm since the 1940s. It is named after the only working windmill in Tuscany, located steps away. Everything used in the restaurant to make the specialty dishes and drinks all come from either the estate itself or the surrounding farms.
“Nothing is in the soul that has not previously passed through the senses.” This is the philosophy of the restaurant.
You can enjoy the lounge area by the entrance, the main dining room in the restaurant, the wine cellar, or the beautiful terrace with breathtaking views of vineyards.
La Bottega del Mulino received its name because of the windmill located next to it on the farm. Guests of the estate and locals enjoy stopping in for a healthy lunch, a drink and to socialize, and to bring items home. Everything in The Bottega is made with items produced on the estate and the surrounding farms. Here you can purchase organic wine and oil, craft beer, pasta, milk, cured meats, bread, jams, blankets, and much more. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
Activities on the estate
12 various activities are available on the estate. They can be taken individually or in combination with any others.
Wine Tours and Tastings - Four different wine tours and tastings are available on the estate. Including a tour of the vineyards, cellars, and tastings. Choose a tasting with local cheese and meats, lunch, or a gourmet meal.
Cooking Class with Lunch - Take the opportunity to learn about the wonderful Tuscan gastronomy. This cooking class will help you impress your friends and family back at home as you learn about ingredients and cook a three-course meal. At the end of class, you will enjoy your dishes with organic wine from the vineyard.
Truffle Hunting - Learn about the three seasons and various truffles when you go truffle hunting. Your guide, along with his specially trained dog, will bring you through the natural truffle producing area on the farm to find some of this amazing Tuber fungi.
Oil & Mill - See and experience Tuscany’s only working windmill that produces organic flour. Learn about the olive growing traditions as you walk through the grove. The tour includes the tasting of various olive oils.
Horseback Riding - Take a riding tour through the vineyards and the beautiful countryside. Ponies are available for children under 10.
Norcineria Course - Learn the practical and theoretical elements in the production of cured meats. Including the selection, type, and division to produce the various hams. The remaining pieces are then made into various sausages. At the end of the course, you will sample some of the products that have been made.
Ceramic Course - After learning about the history, techniques, and process, you can make your own piece of art or paint ready-made pieces.
Photo Tour of Florence - If you haven’t been to Florence yet, you can go on a photo tour of the beautiful city and see some of its famous and fascinating buildings and monuments.
One Day Outing - Want to do it all, but don’t have a lot of time? The one-day outing covers almost everything in a condensed version. Tour the vineyards, cellars, groves, windmill, and ceramics workshop. Enjoy lunch with wine tasting. Go for a dip in a pool and horseback riding through the vineyards.
Responsible tourism at Fattoria Lavacchio
We know the effects tourism and climate change are having on the environment and to local communities and we need to make changes. We can still visit amazing places around the world. We just need to be going to places like Fattoria Lavacchio, who are leaders in geotourism, responsible tourism, and sustainability. In addition to being an organic farm based on sustainability, they are also taking steps to monitor and reduce energy consumption, water consumption, and waste management. Their involvement in a national pilot project to set standards on consumption and waste for similar farms will help transform the industry.