We believe in a healthy and good quality agriculture, which preserves the land in favour of future generations
The choice of biodynamic farming to the benefit of future generations
In 2003, my family and I acquired the farms of La Raia, within the gentle hills of Gavi, in southern Piedmont. My children suggested engaging in the biodynamic – organic approach an approach coherent with my desire of creating a balanced and harmonious place in all its components: agricultural and landscape, but also architectural, social and cultural.
La Raia was born from that intuition, a biodynamic Demeter certified farm, which now extends over 180 hectares. Other projects were added to La Raia’s farming activities during the years: a Waldorf school, managed by my daughter Caterina Rossi Cairo with the “Cascina del Melo” association and portaNatura, an initiative wanted by her husband Tom Dean, devoted to production, sale and home delivery organic goods.
We recently completed the renovation of Borgo Merlassino, today an agriturismo, and in 2017, Locanda La Raia has opened its doors: once a place where wayfarers could rest and get some food, Locanda offers a new idea of hospitality made of simplicity and relaxed pace, with discreet and dedicated service.
In 2013 me and my family established the Fondazione La Raia- arte cultura territorio (La Raia Foundation– art culture territory) with the aim of nationally promoting a critical reflection over the vast topic of landscape. Artists, intellectuals and landscape architects are called to intervene on the location in order to create a chance of further interpretation and new identity.
The awareness of the importance of a healthy, high quality and sustainable agriculture which values diversities and preserves the terroir favouring future generations led us to accomplish new initiatives. We became shareholders of the company EcorNaturaSì, the most important production and distribution company of organic and biodynamic products and in January 2015 we acquired Tenuta Cucco, which with its cru Cerrati becames part of Tenimenti Rossi Cairo. The certified organic estate is in Serralunga d'Alba, recent entry into the Unesco World Heritage List, thanks to its landscapes and vineyards.
Our engagement in such articulated project is continuously renovating and getting richer of new initiatives. Involving ever more participants, friends and those passionate about agriculture which represents the roots of our future.
We invite you to come and visit us and take part of this project.
Giorgio Rossi Cairo
I moved to La Raia in 2003 and, while my husband Tom was converting the land to the biodynamic approach, I started the first initiatives for children which brought to the birth of Intorno al melo, no profit association promoting Steiner pedagogy.
In 2005, in two rooms of a farmstead in La Raia estate, we opened a small nursery school: Steiner pedagogy went well with the land, offering children the chance of enjoying the healthy, rich and silent environment of the Gavi hills. Local families showed interest for the new project and soon enrolled their own children
In September 2010 the association made up of 30 members in all, chose to launch also a school project in a room near to the kindergarten. The space was quite small so my father Giorgio accepted to assign to the association a larger farm. During the summer of 2011 teachers and parents moved to Cascina Ciapurla, an old restructured farmhouse, still part of the La Raia estate, with wide and bright rooms and a garden offering several opportunities of having fun in the nature.
Kindergarten and school teachers have all attended the three-year course for Steiner teachers in Milan. Beside managing the kindergarten and the school, which now include 20 children, every year the association organizes training courses and conferences for adults, in collaboration with the Novi Ligure library, arts laboratories for children, summer camps and free-entry season festivals.
Caterina Rossi Cairo
portaNatura is an enterprise strongly desired and directly experienced by me and my wife Caterina. We transformed our beliefs, studies and passions in a family enterprise, which involves other families as well: those of farmers and breeders, of the suppliers working with them, and of those who choose to buy their products.
When Caterina’s family bought La Raia estate in 2003, we both devoted ourselves to the conversion of the wine farm into a biological and then biodynamic reality. This experience lasted over five years, enabling La Raia to get also the Demeter certification, has deeply influenced our way of looking at land, nature and at our being consumers. In those years we shared our experience with several farmers of the area and we decided to give voice and space to those who, like us, had chosen to take up the biodynamic principles to cultivate the land.
From such awareness, and starting from our long experience on site, we started portaNatura, home delivery of fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, wine, meat, dairy products, oil, honey and preserves, all cultivated and produced according to the principles of the modern biodynamic agriculture.
We are farmers ourselves and we propose our own products as well. By delivering products directly at home, portaNatura renews the bond between nature and people, offers genuine flavours, to be rediscovered with confidence and interpreted according to one’s own tastes.
Every week portaNatura leaves from La Raia, in the Gavi verdant hills, and in one hour it gets to Milan, Genoa and Turin.
This new initiative has been possible thanks to Caterina’s commitment and mine at La Raia. Sharing with the more and more biodynamic farms in the Gavi area adds an important aspect to the project that La Raia have been promoting for the territory since 2003. And we are proud of that.