Helping Farms Thrive

Sisters Talk Farming, Family, and Sustainability

Though sisters traditionally find conflict in almost anything, Camilla and Selene Capurso, partners with their father at Azienda Agricola Moranda, find they can agree that managing their farm, B&B and wine cellar is a point of pride, and a lifestyle they want to sustain for generations to come. We took time to sit down with them, over a glass of their famous Amarone wine, to learn more about the Bayer ForwardFarm, and their dedication to sustainable farming and family.

When did you both start working with your father to manage the farm?

Camilla Capurso (CC): We were born and raised in this magnificent region. Right from when we were small, we have lived and breathed a passion for this work, which is why, as the years have gone by, we have decided to make it our life. We followed different academic paths. I, Camilla, graduated in Educational Science from the University of Verona in 2006 and then spent a few years working in education, whereas my sister, Selene, obtained her degree in Languages and Culture for Tourism Management from the University of Verona in 2007. In 2012, however, we took advantage of a grant from the Veneto Region to actually go into business with Dad, making the switch from an individual holding, to a Società Semplice Agricola (agricultural partnership). Selene, being the youngest, became the legal representative.

Did you always know you wanted to inherit the work?

Selene Capurso (SC): Growing up in the country, surrounded by nature, and seeing the passion our grandparents and father put into their work clearly helped to instill in us a love of the world of viticulture, despite our different academic backgrounds.

How are responsibilities divided among the three of you? Do you take on more work now, than in the past?

CC: Dad is involved mainly with managing the vineyard and the new Capurso cellar. Beyond growing the grapes, we produce wines that are typical of our region, namely Valpolicella, Amarone and a special Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) wine that we have called “il Diavolo Rosso” (the Red Devil) in honor of our Irish Setter dogs.

SC: The two of us, on the other hand, deal with the administration of the farm, communications and promotional activities, organizing events and the hospitality for the agritourism operation, where we offer a bed and breakfast service. Open since 2014, the agritourism operation is called Corte Moranda and takes its name from the farm.

Growing up and watching your grandfather, and father work the land, how have agricultural, and specifically viticulture practices changed today? How have they stayed the same?

CC: They are two different worlds. Experience and the contribution of technology have completely transformed the way in which we farm. We have a great responsibility on our shoulders and the challenge is to be successful in continuing the excellent work done by our father over the years while hoping to pass on this fascinating work to our own children.

SC: In 2015, we updated the brand name of our wine, Capurso, that dates back to 1896, adding a tagline that reflects who we are: Vita, Viti, Vini (Life, Vines, Wines). On our farm, it is true that we put our life into what we do, we grow vines and we celebrate wines.

What part of managing the farm are you most passionate about? Why?

SC: Being women, we pay a lot of attention to detail and add a feminine touch to the entire farm. The aspects we like most are improving the quality of production on our farm and dealing with the hospitality aspects of the agritourism operation, because that enables us to meet people from all over the world, which we feel is a great blessing. We can share with our visitors the work that goes in to each bottle of our wine, and how sustainable practices help us achieve a bountiful crop.

What does sustainable agriculture mean to you? What do you see as the future for implementing sustainable agricultural practices on your farm?

CC: Sustainability requires 360° thinking, however. Working well and in a healthy environment is essential, in our view. On our farm, we were already on the right track, and the work we are doing with Bayer and the various partners in the Bayer ForwardFarming project has helped us to improve our methods, providing even greater protection for the environment and ourselves. We live and work on a farm that many have described as “a paradise”, and we cannot help but want to continue to make improvements in the future.

What is your vision for the farm in the next years?

SC: Our vision for the farm in the coming years is to continue producing excellent wines, to succeed in developing a sales network that enables us to raise awareness of our products and to always keep up with the latest developments.
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Sreenivas Pondicherry
September 07, 2019 - 06:44 PM

Good to see family owned farming regain strength in an organic manner. Are you interested in extending a hand to someone who may want to start up a small vegetable farm?

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