The estate at Castello di Poppiano boasts a storied and lengthy past. At the center of the estate rests an impressive medieval building, erected around the turn of the first millennium as a defense for the town of Florence. It has been the property of the Guicciardini family for almost nine centuries, a claim documented by an inheritance act of 1199!
The hills around the Castello di Poppiano have for centuries been the main site of farming activity by the Guicciardini who, even when involved in the public life of Florence, continued to look after their possessions in the countryside. Letters from a member of the Guicciardini family highlight that in the 15th to 16th centuries, olive trees and grapevines were the backbone of Poppiano’s farming activities.
Ferdinando Guicciardini, the current member of the family in charge, inherited the estate in 1962, just as sharecropping (which had been for centuries the traditional farming contract in Tuscany) was coming to an end. What followed was a difficult period, from which Castello di Poppiano emerged changed for the better. Even through instituting crop specialization and an upgrade of processing facilities, the Guicciardini family always bore in mind the fundamental principle that progress should always respect tradition.
The Olive Grove
The Castello di Poppiano olive groves have their roots deep in the past, even though some of them had to be replanted after the terrible frost of 1985. Cuttings derived from the old surviving plants were used, and now the Castello di Poppiano Estate olive groves cover 116 acres with 22,000 trees, on a hill at an altitude of 920-820 ft. The main olive tree variety at Poppiano is the Frantoio, with the rest being Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino. The ancestral olive trees of this estate produce some of the world’s finest olive oil!
The Guicciardini family has farmed Castello di Poppiano since 1199.