Farm neighbours in Italy now business partners in Canada
Quick. What does Grimsby and Sting have in common?
If you guessed Luca Vitali and his shop, Casa Toscana, you would be correct.
A connection that has been 10 years in the making was finalized recently which will have Casa Toscana diversifiying its own olive oil sales with that of Sting’s now-organic certified product originating from a farm “just down the road” from Vitali’s childhood farm in the Cianti Region of Italy.
“Sting bought a villa about 10 kms away from my farm in 1997 and has been working to get it certified for organic production for many years. They now have that certification,” said Vitali, who noted he got to meet with Sting at his Toronto show on Sunday night.
“This will be high-end production olive oil, like mine. We’re talking 4,000 bottles per year. He was looking for someone who could actively enhance his brand. He didn’t want it getting lost on a shelf some place.”
“He recognized we were a neighbour also selling a high-end product right from the farm. I think this could be good for my business, so we worked out a deal.”
Vitali, who has a couple of bottles of autographed product in his store currently, said the first shipment will arrive in Montreal on March 20 and make its way to his shelves shortly after.
Vitali, who hosts regular tours of Italy, said Sting’s (whose real name is Gordon Sumner) villa is an excellent property and he plans to take his tours there.
“It is a 17th century villa. They have an excellent winemaker and shop on site. It is an impressive place. I will be going there next week to talk about plans.”