On May 4, 2018, students from the Master in Food Studies went on a field visit for the course in Sustainable Food Systems. TREBOTTI is a family-owned 30 hectares organic vineyard in the hills of Castiglione in Teverina (VT). The farm is primarily run by the young award-winning agronomist Ludovico Maria Botti who has conducted research on the cloning and breeding of a grape variety suitable for the local soil conditions called Aleatico di Gradoli. Ludovico, as a young farmer, focuses his business model on three key aspects: sustainability, innovation and networking.
The winery has several methods of defining and identifying itself with sustainable practices, ranging from the idea of closed-loop models (from compost to water use) and soil cover under vineyards managed by animals to the production of wine without added sulfites. Ludovico creates his own compost from agricultural waste and manure from his mule. These practices give added value to the wines produced and directly sold by the farm. 
Regarding innovation, Ludovico is continuously looking at new solutions for managing his farm. He showed the students a recently developed biogas machine used to process the biomass created at farm level in order to produce energy to heat and cool the building where processing the wine takes place. Ludovico is also proactive in creating a network with several different players, from like-minded farmers and local institutions to universities and consumers in the city.
The students concluded their visit at FARMERS cafe and shop at the Tiburtina train station. This business, opened by TREBOTTI together with other farmers in Rome, provides an interesting example of the urban-rural link.
Author: Prof. Livia Ortolani