|Sonia Nardi||Via Castello 5, Bardine San Terenzo Monti, Fivizzano (MS), Italy|
|Company’s name:||Website / telephone number:|
|Bardine Lunigiana||(+39) 0585 949190|
Rotelle apples and rotelle apple juice.
The ‘rotelle’ apples, an old apple variety typical of Lunigiana, are hand-picked from the trees around the second half of October and can be found until around the beginning of February.
With the apples that cannot be sold because of their looks – maybe a bit bumpier than the rest, or slightly eaten by birds – Sonia drives all the way to Montepulciano (in Tuscany) to get them pasteurized and squeezed into a juice, which is then bottled. She doesn’t add chemicals or sugar.
As I drive down the main – and only – street of Bardine I wonder if I’ll have to ring on various doorbells to find Sonia. The village is not big at all but nobody is around and no house has a big apple on its top to lead the way.
Fortunately my windows are rolled down: a woman puts her head out of her door and waves at me while calling my name. I’ve found my place.
Sonia greets me with enthusiasm and a big smile, opens the cellar where she keeps the bottles of juice and lets me try one: maybe I was parched from the drive and the hot summer air, but I find it delicious.
While I drink, she tells me a bit of her story. Five years ago she bought the land with the apple trees from her cousin and seeing how it was an old variety typical of the area she decided to try to sell it, both as fresh fruit and juice. The only issue with the latter is that she has to drive all the way to Montepulciano (near Siena, in Tuscany) as there is no one in the area who has the machines neither to make apple juice nor to bottle it.
Could you find it at La Sosta?
We hope so. I asked all the La Sosta staff and my parents (Angela & Fabio, the owners) to try it and comments were positive on all sides. Now we just have to figure out where to put it:).
Please let me know if you like it!