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One Belvedere's agronomist, Riccardo Clemente

About Riccardo Clemente

I lived in Genova till I was 18 years old, where I attended classical school and did beekeeping in Sant’ Ilario, near Genoa. My father and grandfather both had art galleries in Genoa, but I’ve always been interested in agriculture.
In 1993, I moved to Milan to study agricultural science, and I graduated in 1999. In 1996, I moved to Scotland to study for a year, where I spent a lot of my time with sheeps and greenery. Auchincruive is a Glasgow neighborhood near the shore. I have assisted on lambing, which resulted in 30 baby sheep, one of which was served for meal afterwards.
I drove there in my car, but when I arrived in England, I took the incorrect turn, driving on the opposite side!
I returned to Milan for a few months before returning to Slovakia and Hungary for four months to continue my studies in agricultural science. They took me to a wonderful spot one day and offered me onions, wine, and a thermal bath with snow all around.

One Belvedere's agronomist, Riccardo Clemente

Finally, in 1999, I returned to finish my degree. I spent a month in Paris at my cousin’s house before moving to Vienna for six months at my girlfriend’s house before contracting typhus in Nepal.
I like traveling a lot, especially since my ex-girlfriend was an Austrian Airlines hostess, so we visited Mexico, Baja California, South Africa (Paarl region), and San Diego (USA).
I traveled alone for one month in Chile, from Antofagasta to Tierra del Fuego, to China all the way around, and Nepal, where I ran out of money and had to survive for three days on Yak milk and toasted bread.
Finally, I began my first employment in Siena, at the Fattoria Il Santo farm, a 1000-acre farm near Siena in the Monticiano Municipality.
It was a pleasant experience because we had maremmana cows, horses, olive trees, wheat, cork trees, agritourism, and so on.
Finally, I began my first employment in Siena, at the Fattoria il Santo farm, a 1000-acre farm near Siena in the Monticiano Municipality.
It was a pleasant experience because we had maremmana cows, horses, olive trees, wheat, cork trees, agritourism, and so on.
I got stranded in the middle of the field the first time I drove a tractor because there was too much mud.
I started my agronomist consulting career with Rosanna in 2003, and in 2011, I relocated to Poggibonsi to start my own firm, sharing the rooms with my colleague, Robeta Cappelli.
As I previously stated, I began my blueberry farm near Arcisate in 2004.
In 2022, I purchased a little plot of land in Poggibonsi, where I plan to establish a 2.000 mq vineyard and some vegetables for my family.
My wife and I have two children, Alessio, 13, and Silvia, 16, respectively.
Nala, my Labrador, is a dog I’m attempting to sell or serve sooner or later.
This is more or less my short life.

When did you discover your passion for agriculture and viticulture?

I was 13 years old, living in Genoa, when I started cultivating my own vegetable garden and became a beekeeper with a teacher from my school. He was a priest, and while taking care of the bees, we would talk about life, God, and agriculture in Europe (he spent a lot of time in Spain). I loved agriculture, and at 16, I decided to become an agronomist and manage a farm. I studied Agricultural Sciences in Milan, spent a year in Scotland, and a few months in Hungary and Slovakia. After completing my studies in 2001, I moved to Siena to work as an agronomist for a farm and later as a consultant in my own practice. In 2004, I started a small blueberry farm in Varese, which was my dream. I have about 5,000 square meters of land with 1,200 blueberry plants and a production of 5,000 kg.

What do you enjoy most about the blueberry trade?

It is interesting and enjoyable to sell blueberries directly to customers. They ask if they are locally produced and come to visit the farm. After a while, I decided to let them come and pick the blueberries directly at the farm, spending a few hours in nature with their families, and picking the fruits straight from the plants. It has become a fun experience, and many friendships have formed, which are renewed every year.

Have you witnessed any changes in the industry in recent years? Do you see them as positive or negative?

I see a significant change in people’s mindset regarding the green economy and sustainable agriculture. Farmers are trying to use fewer chemicals and choose more sustainable products for their production (glass, wood, paper, etc.). Even the customers who buy blueberries ask me to use less plastic for coverings, baskets, etc. They often return the cardboard boxes to me.

Which part of the production process do you enjoy the most (from a technical standpoint)?

I enjoy reclaiming abandoned land and transforming it into vineyards and olive groves. Seeing the plants grow from small saplings without fruit to large and productive plants that yield excellent wines or oils is very rewarding.

What kind of experience do you aim to offer your customers when producing your wine/gin/cheese/beer/fruits and vegetables/honey?

I aim to provide wine tasting experiences and blueberry picking opportunities for my customers.

Thanks for joining us and coming along on this journey of discovery. To learn more about sustainable living and farming, please check back often for new articles.

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