Due Leoni farm was founded a decade ago, when proprietor, Giuseppe Catalano di Melilli, purchased olive groves, a small vineyard, and several farmhouses, in a medieval village high in the Sabina hills. His family’s ancient history of citrus farming in Sicily (on the plain below Etna), was to be complemented by products from the Roman countryside.
Giuseppe patiently brought back to fruit ancient olive trees, and increased the acreage of the farm, by adding fields once belonging to the original fiefdom.
Castel San Pietro, in the dominion of Poggio Mirteto, Province of Rieti, Latium, was the site of a sojourn by the Apostle Saint Peter on his journey toward Rome, almost two thousand years ago. It is constructed around a castle once belonging to the powerful Orsini family. This fortification was built on the sloping terraces of a Roman villa, still visible in the castle’s formal gardens.
Olives - some dating back 500 years - grow among the classic vegetation of the Mediterranean brush. The olive trees nestle alongside laurel and sumac, the latter, a medicinal plant imported from Syria hundreds of years ago by monks of the nearby Abbey of Farfa. The abbey’s far-flung lands, to which our farm surely belonged, were granted by a deed from Emperor Charlemagne.
Benedictine monks from nearby Farfa Abbey planted the olives in our lands centuries ago. Farming occurred on these hills already in Roman times. We have carefully tended the roots of ancient plants, to ensure the continuation of the antique Carboncella variety. Our farm also produces Frantoio and Leccino olives. The groves are high in the Sabine Hills, north of Rome on southern slopes, with a limestone and pebble substrate allowing for abundant production, low acidity, and very high polyphenols.
The estate is located between 350 and 450 meters above sea level, and is conducted according to organic/biological methods, with a flock of sheep grazing below the trees.
Since the Carboncella is a very tenacious variety, the harvest takes place largely by hand, with combs, or mechanical rakes, according to the moment they are harvested, also due to the steep angle of much of the plantings. Leccino and Frantoio varieties, though normally less tenacious to harvest, are picked similarly since they are harvested as early as possible when they start changing colour in order to ensure the best quality.