The name Acetaia Castelli comes from the street where it resides “Via Castelli”, so named not because there is a real castle but because historically it was the first street with two-storey houses. We are located in a small village, Rio Saliceto, in the province of Reggio Emilia, in the very heart of the Po valley. This land is characterized by hot and sunny summers and wet and cold winter, the perfect weather for the Balsamic vinegar production.
This is a flat area, with many cultivated fields and lush vineyards, worked by friendly and welcoming people, where the Po river (the longest and the most important Italian river) flows north and where the Apennines mountain range rises in the south. This land is so rich in great products that it was recently renamed “Food Valley”. My whole family has strong roots in this area and I feel that their history and culture define me. It is an honour for me to see my factory growing, with the help of my family and to scatter a piece of our land in the whole world.
The vineyards are irrigated by a system of drainage channels and sprinklers with water from the nearby river Po. We try to irrigate only when it is strictly necessary, according to the summer’s drought. We then have different plots of land with significantly different water requirements; we can say that on average a plant needs 1-2 m3 per year.
In general, we try to keep a cultivation as genuine as possible, also exploiting natural fertilizers such as fermented cow manure, the grass is cut, chopped and left in the vineyard as a nutrient. Moreover the stalks and berries deriving from pruning and harvesting are composted and scattered again in the fields the following year.
In the farm there are five men, three women and few seasonal assistants during the periods of harvesting and winter pruning. My wife, my son and his wife are working in the company, and we try to create a familiar and collaborative environment also with "external" employees. We firmly believe that a peaceful, inclusive and relaxed atmosphere leads to better products and a more prosperous company. Therefore we try to recognize, as far as possible, the appropriate remuneration for our employees, including seasonal workers, so that they are happy to do what is best for the good of the whole company.
The charm of our products is that the whole vineyard’s production can be used for the balsamic vinegar, and since it is a natural preservative, it does not expire. We are members of a social winery in the city to which every year we give a small part of the harvest for the production of an excellent Lambrusco wine. We also have a small container for composting in which are placed the remains of pruning used to fertilize the family garden and fruit plants.