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His father Lino was a trader of quality food products, an admirer and connoisseur of healthy and genuine food, and from him Oronzo inherited those values that entered his soul from the very beginning, so much so that he opened a food and wine shop at the age of just 21 and then continued to grow more and more passionate about the work that made him feel alive and gratified, he is a sommelier and cultivates a passion for wines, a lifelong member of Slow Food, very much in love with and jealous of his territory, and today his business is very well known in the municipality of Francavilla Fontana and also in the province of Brindisi.
In 1999, he married his beloved Grazia and joined the Manelli family, a family of farmers and sheep and goat breeders who own a 42-hectare farm, 20 hectares of which are centuries-old olive trees of the Cellina di Nardò and Ogliarola cultivars. From this moment on, his path began to change.
In 2016, Manelli Giuseppe (Pinuccio) and his wife Carucci Petrina, tired of working in the fields and, above all, demotivated and discouraged by the farm’s poor performance, decided to sell it. They told their daughter Grazia and son-in-law Oronzo about this decision at the table during lunch on a quiet Sunday, and the latter was very displeased, as he saw in Pinuccio’s eyes a great disappointment, the disappointment of someone who has always lived off that land and for that land he has damned himself.
At that moment, the pride and ambition that – those who know him know! – have always distinguished Oronzo confronted him with a decision he could not have failed to make. He decided to take over his in-laws’ farm and created the new agricultural company, named after them: AZIENDA AGRICOLA TENUTA MANELLI.
Just enough time to organise his ideas and in 2018 he also took over grandfather Damiano’s olive grove, which he was very fond of, and produced the first bottle of Tenuta Manelli organic extra virgin olive oil.
In 2021, the Tenuta Manelli farm is aiming to cross national borders to make its ‘gold’ known abroad, the land where it is produced, the people who cultivate the olive trees from which it is produced and the operators who work during the olive pressing and oil packaging phases, as well as those involved in communication and marketing. The value enshrined in each bottle of Tenuta Manelli oil is the value of all those who work every day to make it possible.