Our 'farm to plate' philosophy starts right here. Borgo's farm and culinary gardens produce biodynamic goodies used throughout the estate, from the abundant breakfast buffet to Michelin-starred meals, spa treatments and our upcoming line of natural skincare.
“'Farm to plate’ for me is the simple, physical possibility of being able to step outside the villa and walk through the place where the food comes from three minutes later,” says Borgo's general manager Francesco Capria, “whether that’s the orto [culinary garden] or down at the farm with the chickens and sheep.”
Our biodynamic culinary garden lies at the heart of Borgo's 'farm to plate' philosophy, where Michelin-star executive chefs Andrea Mattei () and Antonello Sardi ( in Florence) design their plates from the source in collaboration with our culinary gardeners. Discover more about the fascinating world of the orto .
Each morning shepherd and farmer Ivan Piras milks the sheep and delivers it to the Meo Modo kitchen, where it’s transformed into fresh cheese and, depending on the season, also yoghurt. Ivan himself makes the ricotta and cloud-like crema di pecora served at Meo Modo, and shares the secrets of his craft in a cheesemaking course at the.
Poached eggs and pancakes take on a new dimension when they’re made from free-range eggs straight from the farm and served to order at the breakfast buffet alongside raw honey collected from Borgo’s own bees. Honey is gathered at the end of summer when the sheets of honeycomb, heavy and fragrant with close to three kilos' honey each, are sealed off by the bees with a thin telltale covering of wax. These are slotted into a centrifuge to extract the honey, which changes subtly in perfume and flavour depending on where the bees have been; in fact guests often pick out notes of lavender, derived from the bushes growing in profusion along the Borgo drive near the apiary.
Wine and prosciutto
Borgo's 100-acre estate also includes vineyards and forest for wine and prosciutto production. The vineyards have been planted with predominantly Sangiovese grapes, as well as indigenous Tuscan and international varieties, and border the oak forest that houses Borgo's happy drove of pigs. A cross between the Sienese region's ancient black-and-white cinta senese and the rugged 'Large White', the so-called 'Senese Grey' has been carefully developed for the high-end prosciutto market, one of Tuscany’s regional specialties. Free to roam throughout the forest, Borgo’s pigs are raised on acorns, a nutritious diet that also enhances the flavour and quality of the prosciutto. Tuscany has long been renowned for the quality of its pigs and its dedication to rearing them; one of the earliest visual examples of this is found in a fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico, in which a peasant is shown herding a pig with the distinctive markings of the local cinta senese in the background.
makes great use of the healing herb garden growing just outside its door. Spa manager Tracey Mallalieu frequently blends seasonal plants into her treatments, such as cooling aloe vera to soothe skin in summer, while the staff brew a purifying tisana each day with freshly picked aromatic herbs, which are dropped into the steaming old-fashioned urn on the coffee table to offer to guests.
Bounty and beauty
Rich in butterfat, vitamins and minerals, and containing the gentle exfoliating action of lactic acid, Borgo sheep’s milk is a key ingredients in our upcoming line of natural skincare, together with the healing properties of our raw honey, which are blended onsite at a custom-made lab by scientist and alchemist Anna Buonocore.
With snowy white males Francesco and Cliquot at the helm, Borgo’s exotic herd of alpacas is being bred to develop a cottage wool industry. Sought after for its extraordinary softness, fineness and lustre, alpaca wool is considered to be one of the world’s most luxurious fibres, rivalling cashmere for quality and durability. Borgo's alpaca herd is also a family attraction, situated by the lake near the children's playground.