In the midst of Tuscany’s famed vineyards and historically-rich background, there are a handful of diary farms dedicated to the production of only the finest cheeses. Entertaining and lifestyle guru Camille Styles recently embarked on a tour of one such place: Corzano e Paterno, a vineyard and farm situated in the Tuscan countryside. We snagged a peek along Styles’ visit and even picked up a few tips for setting a true-Italian spread for lunch.
Located outside of Florence, Corzano e Paterno is a family-run establishment that produces wine, olive oil, and artisanal sheep cheeses. Its restored farmhouses and acres of rolling greens are among its many draws that have contributed to its growing agritourism sector. With over 2,800 olive trees, 700 sheep, and the stony slopes that house the vineyards, its seemingly endless points of interests are not one to miss.
Was this your first time visiting a cheese farm?
This was my first time visiting a cheese farm, and while I knew it would be amazing, I couldn’t believe how delicious all the cheeses were. Secondly, I was amazed to discover how much Corzano e Paterno produces outside of just cheese. They manage to run a large operation while still maintaining its small, family-run qualities.
What is one thing you learned from your visit?
Corzano e Paterno taught me that there is a clear, palpable difference between the cheeses we find in grocery stores here (even “the good stuff!”) and the cheeses thoughtfully and naturally made by hand.
Unsurprisingly, years of tireless trials led to the now nearly 15 various sorts of cheese productions.
Since no trip to a cheese farm would be complete sans some bites, we got the complete rundown of the mouthwatering meal Styles enjoyed on her trip. Here’s how you can recreate the delectable lunch at home:
Freshly sliced prosciutto and salami are a staple of Italian cuisine, especially in the northern cities of the country. The regional delicacy of prosciutto and fresh melon invite a breadth of flavor that encompasses both sweet and salty notes. A classic caprese came sprinkled with thyme, elevating the signature salad, while ample bowls of cherries and various crudites provided an element of sweetness and crunch.
Also on the menu, a fig chutney to pair with freshly baked whole wheat bread and focaccia plus, only the finest olive oils for dipping.
What was something that surprised you on your trip?
I couldn’t believe the sheer size of the cheese farm—it spans two entire Tuscan hills! I was also shocked to learn that it was started by Swiss architect Wendel Gepke, and that a generation later, it continues to be run by 40 members of the Gepke family. Truly inspiring.
Have you ever visited a cheese farm? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!