A Heaven- Good For Us and Good For Nature
The property is nested in the hills surrounding the medieval village of Brisighella, at only fifteen minutes from the highway exit of Faenza, and about 80 km. from Florence. The estate is located in its park of more than one hectare, with flowers and vegetable gardens, that overlook its beautiful 42-acre, in the middle of a range of green, rolling, cupressus-covered hills.
This beautiful country house dating back to 1790, is located in its park of more than one hectare, with flowers and vegetable gardens, that overlook its beautiful 42-acre, in the middle of a range of green, rolling, cupressus-covered hills, is one with great ambiance. Seven acres of Sangiovese and Trebbiano make red and white wines with a rich, lush, dry scent and taste of blueberry and plum. The bright, open hill offers a gorgeous sweeping view over the vineyard and the valley, with large tree-clad mountains looming in the distant background and the Adriatic sea on the east side. Founded in 1890, the esate is located on the southwest slopes of Passo della Colla, that leads to Firenze in about 49 miles. Its soil base of shallow limestone and clay and south exposure make it ideally suited to produce big red varietals, cultivars of high quality fruit, apricot and olive trees, surrounded from small lakes and centenarian trees. From the three large terraces of the house and from the pool, the view spans trough the woods, climbing the hills of Tuscany to the west and extending to theAdriatic to the east. Ca’ di Ballo has about 2-acre of Sangiovese DOC/DOP; 5-acre of Trebbiano DOC/DOP; 3-acre of olive trees of the variety Ghiacciola and Nostrana DOC/DOP, uses sustainable land management practices and time-tested agricultural techniques to support the soil, prevent soil erosion, and limit water use.
The main building is arranged over two floors, about 150 meters each, has a large cellar where the wine was aged in large oak barrels. It’s a typical Italian house, with rectangular windows, arched doors, a winter garden, covered by glass walls, supported by marble columns. The vaulted ceilings are built with handmade bricks, stone walls are larger than 50 cm. During the restoration the entire main building was insulated with a coat of Polystyrene of 10 cm. The four sides of the house were excavated to insulate the foundation with waterproofing membranes and pebbles. A perfect balance between old artifact and new technology, tradition and comfort.
Strolling along the road through the gardens, you reach in a few minutes, the old hunting lodge refurbished into a small but cozy bungalow – provided with bathroom and kitchenette – which can accommodate up to three people. On the lawn below the house, overlooking the pond and protected by a centuries-old oak tree, we have an approved project for a new autonomous two-story building, approximately 100 meters each, which respects the characteristic values of the local environment.
Merged to the barn, less than 20 meters from the north side of the house, newly built, are the large laundry room, a hall and a small suite with loft and private bathroom.
Grown At Ca’ di Ballo
Trebbiano is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It gives good yields, but tends to yield undistinguished wine. It can be fresh and fruity, but does not keep long. Its high acidity makes it important in Cognac production. Also known as Ugni blanc, in particular in France, it has many other names reflecting a family of local subtypes, particularly in Italy and France.
Trebbiano may have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and was known in Italy in Roman times. A subtype was recognized in Bologna in the thirteenth century, and as Ugni blanc made its way to France, possibly during the Papal retreat to Avignon in the fourteenth century.
An Italian study published in 2008 using DNA typing showed a close genetic relationship between Garganega on the one hand and Trebbiano and several other grape varieties on the other hand. It is therefore possible that Garganega is one of the parents of Trebbiano, however, since the parents of Garganega have not been identified, the exact nature of the relationship could not be conclusively established.
Sangiovese (san-jo-veh-zeh [sandʒoˈveːze]) is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove“. The most accredited theory about the origin of Sangiovese is in Romagna in the Town of Santarcangelo where the Romans would store the wine in Grotte Tufacee (caves) inside the Mons Jovis.
Though it is the grape of most of central Italy from Romagna down to Lazio, Campania and Sicily, outside Italy it is most famous as the main component of the blend Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano, although it can also be used to make varietal wines such as Rosso di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna, as well as modern “Super Tuscan” wines like Tignanello. Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavors of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavors when aged in barrels.
Sangiovese was already well known by the 16th century. Recent DNA profiling by José Vouillamoz of the Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige suggests that Sangiovese’s ancestors are Ciliegiolo and Calabrese Montenuovo. The former is well known as an ancient variety in Tuscany, the latter is an almost-extinct relic from the Calabria, the toe of Italy. At least fourteen Sangiovese clones exist, of which Brunello is one of the best regarded.
Brisighella’s artichoke ‘Moretto’
This artichoke is a rustic variety of the common artichoke plant, free from any genetic manipulation: it keeps intact over time its peculiar features and the original flavour.
This vegetable is a native organic plant, growing of its own in the ravines around Brisighella.
The artichoke is largely cultivate all over the Mediterranean region, but here in Brisighella, due to the peculiar weather and the properties of the clayey ground, shows uniques features of colour and flavour.
The ‘Moretto’ plant grows as a shrub that can be up to 1.50 mt high, with a straight stalk and sprouts (called ‘carducci’) used for seeding; leaves are big, greenish and thorny. It has a slightly bitter taste, fresh and appetizing.
In the kitchen
This artichoke can be used in many different ways. It can be eaten raw or slightly boiled, seasoned with salt and oil, best with the ‘Brisighello’ oil, perfect for this food. Artichoke it’s also an healthy plant, important for the anaemic persons, due to its high percentage of iron. It’s rich with cellulose and therefore good for a difficult intestine, as well is good for diabetic patients being low in sugar. The leaves, strongly bitter, are used for herbal teas and in the production of herb liqueurs.
Extravirgin olive oil “Brisighello”
The low altitude (115 mt. above sea level) of this part of the Tosco-Romagnolo Apennines favours the growing of the olive tree, protected from the cold eastern winds by the natural configuration of the valley, and from the north side from the chalky barrier, and creates a perfect mild micro-climate, allowing the cultivation of an high quality and famous product.
Here the cultivation of the olive tree dates back to the ancient times, and signs of this culture has been found also in the Roman age.
Emerald green with golden reflections, this oil has a distinctive taste, spicy and slightly bitter and it’s special for flavouring vegetables and fishes and as an ingredient for sauces.
The trademark “Brisighello” is related to a specific region with peculiar features, different from the surrounding areas, and mainly from an unique variety of olive fruit, the “Nostrana of Brisighella”.
The extravergin olive oil “Brisighello” DOP can only be obtained by the above mentioned variety of fruit, and its percentage cannot be less than ninety percent. Small amounts of other fruits coming from local olive trees can also be added.
The largest production is about 5 thousand kg per hectare in specialized olive groves, with a maximum yield allowed of 18% for the oil.
Oil can be extracted only with mechanical or physical processes suitable to ensure a product true to the distinctive features of the fruit.
Fruits are harvested by hand between the 5th of November and the 20th of December, washed with water below 27 degrees of temperature and pressed in four days from the picking.
The best of the production is further on selected and gets the trademark of ‘Brisighello’, an intense extravergin olive oil, cold pressed drop by drop.
Another top quality product is the “Nobil Drupa”, an oil extracted in a very limited quantity from the cold pressing of the “Ghiacciola” fruits, a quite rare tree that can be found only in some groves around Brisighella.
History of Brisighella
Its origins go back to the end of the 13th century, when Maghinardo Pagani built the first important castle of the Lamone Valley on one of the three peaks of selenite, a gypsum rock.
In the 14th century the Manfredi, Lords of Faenza, started to build a bigger castle on another peak; 200 years later the Venetians conquered it and gave the castle the present look.
The village is made up of ancient lanes and streets, remains of defensive walls and stairways carved into the chalky rocks.
The Ancient Via del Borgo, a covered street dated at the 14thth century with arched open windows of different sizes, was a defensive bulwark for the medieval citadel at the back.
This street is world famous for the very nature of its extraordinary architecture, and is also called “Via degli Asini” (Donkeys Alley) for the cover it supplied to the many carts and donkeys which used it in the past.
Brisighella boasts the birth of eight cardinals and has many sacred buildings: the most important of which is Pieve di San Giovanni In Ottavo, (Pieve Tho’ in the local dialect), this church, built in the 5th century and rebuilt around the 11th and the 12th, is so called because it is located on the 8th mile of the ancient Roman route between Faenza and Florence.
News at Ca’ di Ballo
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
Contact us: Ca’ di Ballo – Via Baccagnano 26 – Brisighella (RA) – 4013
Brisighella, (Ra) – Via Baccagnano 26 – 48013
A 14 – Uscita di Faenza – Direzione FIRENZE
Easy to reach
Looking around in the heart of Romagna
Due to its position – between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany – and to a favourable road network, Brisighella is a very handy starting point for trips and escursions..
For a quick trip the ideal destination is Faenza, the world famous city of artistic pottery, only a few kilometers away.. Ravenna and Florence too are close e the road leading to Florence, across the Colla pass, affords one of the most beautiful view of the Appennini mountains. Florence and Faenza can be reached by car, but as well with the picturesque railroad that links them directly.
FAENZA (7 miles)
The tradition and the culture of ceramics are, today too, the main assett of the city: the International Museum of Ceramics hosts a gorgeous collection of artworks from different countries and different ages.
But Faenza it’s not only pottery, it’s town with excellent architectural and urban features, such as the magnificent cathedral, one of the most relevant building of the Renaissance art in Romagna; and furthermore, two central squares, the Milzetti Palace with its neoclassical frescoes, the elegant Masini Theater (second half of the XVIII century).
Faenza is the ideal stage for spectacular events like the medieval horse race “Palio del Niballo” or the “Passatore 100 km foot race”.
RAVENNA (26 miles)
Last Capital of the Western Roman Empire in the V century and the main city under the kingdom of Goth king Teodorico.
Many splendid monuments still remember its great political, commercial and artistic role across the time, especially during the imperial period and when, in the VI century, the city became the real center of the Eastern Roman Empire: in Ravenna one can find an impressive complex of basilicas, baptistries and mausoleums with the magnificence of precious marbles and beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
A few kilometers form Ravenna there is a beautiful pine forest and the sandy coast of the Adriatic sea.
FIRENZE (54 miles)
Florence, an etruscan city, lies along the journey of the river Arno, surrounded by green and fertile hills, a distinctive mark of its landscape.
Florence is a woldwide famous cultural centre: its monuments, galleries, palaces and churches speak up for themselves, as well as for the many cultural events that take place every year. In this city the visitor can see invaluable treasures of any style and from any time, so that the history of Florence is the history of art itself.
CERVIA (34 miles)
Not far from Ravenna there is Cervia, a very popular sea resort with a wide and sandy coast; Cervia is also known as “La città del Sale” (The City of Salt), due to its ancient salt mine, more than two thousand years old and still operating, a precious evidence of the traditional harvesting of marine salt.
In 1979 a Natural Reserve has been founded, a natural park where the typical flora and fauna of the region is protected. Besides, in the historical centre of Cervia you can visit the Salt Stores, the Tower of St. Michael and the Docks.
THE RIVER PO DELTA (37 miles)
The Regional Park of Po Delta, founded in 1989 and the largest among the regional parks, includes the southern part of the Delta and further south also a large region of wet areas, quite interesting from a naturalistic perspective. The visitor will be amazed by the wide range of enviroments and cultural spots: the primeval mediterranean bush, the lagoons, the salty valleys and the polls of unsalted water, the etruscan and roman ruins, the Byzantine mosaics and the Benedictine architecture.
The park is dividen into six different parts, easy to reach with the A14 highway or the Via Romea, crossing the whole area.
How to reach Brisighella
- SS 9 Emilia / SS 302 direction Florence
- Highway A1 and E45 both connecting to Highway A14
- Highway A14, exit station Faenza or Imola
- Bologna: Marconi Airport – Via Triumvirato, 84 – Ph. 051.647961
- Forlì : L. Ridolfi Airport – Via Seganti, 103 – Ph. 0543.780049
- Rimini: Civil Airport Aeradria – Miramare Ph. 0541.373132
- Faenza station (railway Milano/Lecce or Bologna/Ancona)
- Brisighella station (railway Faenza/Florence)
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