For four generations this family has cared for their land in the Sicilian village of Buccheri. Long ago, their ancestor Vito Spano bought a tiny piece of land called “Riunta” as a present for his nine children. It was the end of the 19th century and the beginning of their story.
Years later, the family enjoyed listening to their grandfather Gaetano’s stories of immigrating to Philadelphia and returning home. Buying “Vernera” was the outcome of the money earned building roads in America.
The current stewards of the land are two sisters and a brother – the children of Lavinia and Vito. Vito was captivated by the olive groves and would inspect each and every tree like a good physician that he was. At the kitchen table, after dinner, he hand selected the problem olives to search for a resolution. Vito passed on his love and respect for the land to the three, who are now grown children. And, the 5th generation is now ready to jump in and care for the land and trees – as has been done for generations. With love, the family has answered the call of the olive trees throughout the years – whatever they asked.
I was lucky enough to meet Mariagrazia on a trip through Sicily in the autumn of 2019. Vernera’s olives were fresh picked and pressed. Tasting this fresh EVOO was the highlight of our trip. Such a passionate and caring family. This year, Olioveto offers Vernera’s Le Case di Lavinia EVOO, which is a mono-cultivar from the Tonda Iblea olive. See more here.