Coming toSanta Catrinimeansunplugwith the chaotic world. Means enteringa different dimensionmade ofnaturalrhythms, sweat, dirty handsbutno stress.I grew up among these stones, I fell in love when I was a child, feeling like a little explorer turning every corner, later, growing up, I appreciated the quiet in which I used to flee to reconcile with myself. Restoring this estate, owned by my family for 200 years has become the project of my life. Santa Catrini is located on the slopes of the Climiti Mounts, part of Ibleo plateau, a limestone massif that stretches along the south eastern Sicily. It is characterized by a dense network of relentless white dry stonewalls that surround it, and then olive trees, almonds, carobs, lemon trees and Mediterranean scrub. Since ancient times this area has been devoted to the production of olive oil and honey of a rare quality as the poet Virgil once wrote in his notes. My desire is to preserve the tradition and identity of these places and make sure that those who come here can appreciate them, leaving the chaos of the city and reconciling with itself and with nature savoring the taste of the best Sicilian tradition. Inside the estate of S.Catrini there are centuries-old trees, still, are keepers of time, having seen pass under their tresses Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and till today produce an extraordinary olive oil. The production area is now a PDO, the "Monti Iblei", popular and award-winning internationally, but this is also an organic estate where olive trees grow next to almonds, carobs, citrus, vegetables and other fruits without pesticides and with respect for the nature. My ambition and my responsibility is to leave this place to those who come after better than I found.
In 1812,at the end offeudalism in Sicily, Pietro Moncada di Paternòsold the lands ofSanta Catrini to my ancestor.After fivegenerationsthe love for thislittle corner of the worldis unchanged. Nevertheless last two centuries are just a small spot in the history of this land which has been lived for thousands of years. Walking around S.Catrini this past appear everywhere, from the fossil shells testimonial of ancient sea life to the tombs in the stone of iron age and terra-cotta fragments of the byzantine period. Million years ago this landscape was the sea bed, millenniums later this area was one of the earliest human settlement in Sicily, the famous necropolis of Pantalica is not far from the property as well as the antique site of Megara Hyblea. Centuries and centuries after, during roman times, this area was dedicated to the production of olive oil due to the fabulous combine between the black earth and the white limestone that creates optimal conditions for the olive trees. Since roman times the Ibleo plateau, which S.Catrini belong, was known for the rare quality of honey and olive oil as the latin poet Virgilio wrote on his notes. After Romans, Arabs introduced their techniques that are still visible with the Saracen olive trees which are large and ultra-centenary trees with huge gnarled trunks twisted into bizarre shapes, they are a beautiful part of the landscape and still produce an extraordinary olive oil.
Nowadays, S. Catrini estate develops around the nucleus of the old Masseria, traditional Sicilian farm building, extending across an area of about 90 hectares occupied by olive groves, almonds groves, lemons, carobs and pasture. The access is via a straight long track road marked by old characteristics white stonewalls. On the west side Climiti mounts look like a big dam to protect the property that extends in the opposite direction, a plain sloping to the east towards the sea and the gulf of Augusta. North side, far away, Etna is a giant that seem to controls everything. This is a quiet beautiful landscape and the rhythm of olive trees life – of resting, pruning, picking, and pressing – still continues.
We believe in bio-dynamic and organic farming, more of all we believe in the responsability to leave our land better than we found it.
Born in 1980, my name is Giovanni and I am the fifth generation of S. Catrini owners. Graduated in Economics in 2002, in 2003 I earned two post-graduate degrees in General Management and Farm Management. I lived and worked in USA, Spain and Ireland before coming back to my origins.