At first it seemed to be the classic tale of the businessman, who on achieving success looks for another distraction or hobby to pass the time. This would even have been true, were it not for the name of this particular businessman,
who in the Modena countryside sowed the seed for yet another of his many ideas, visions, creative sparks: Umberto Panini. It was named Hombre, after the first word that he heard on disembarking from the boat in Venezuela when he emigrated to find his fortune in 1957.

The Beginning

Umberto Panini immediately had clear ideas, on the strength of experience in which his extraordinary character stemmed simply from the fact that he never gave in to adversity, always standing up to new challenges. And he represented pure state of the art, not only for Modenese farming but for the whole of Italy in the second half of the 1980s, when from a farm of around 30 hectares (which now boasts more than 300) people started talk of a closed production cycle (nothing less than what Umberto had created with his brothers in the Factory of Sticker Albums) and of organic farming (a movement that at the time was more likened to a hippie fad than to science related to the land).

The Crops

Hombre has a surface area of over 300 hectares. The crops are selected according to the needs of the dairy cattle. Crop rotation is simple and based on just a few crops: the main one is alfalfa, which absorbs over 60% of the ground surface. The remaining 40% are cereals and legumes. All crops are farmed according to the principles of organic farming, which prohibits the use of synthetic chemicals.

The Herd

Everything in Hombre is related to the production of milk, which has to be the best quality possible. This represents the main hinge pin for our Parmigiano Reggiano Bio. And with this principle we select our herd, made up of 500 cattle, half Frisona and half Pezzata Rossa. The farm has always also kept pasture areas to improve the wellbeing of its animals.

The Warehouse

As well as the dairy farm, the Hombre farm also hosts its own ageing warehouse for Parmigiano Reggiano: a climatised and humidified area where the cheese is stored from the moment it is collected from the brine. Every 15 days the wheels are cleaned and inspected, and when the cheese reaches the age of 12 months, the testers ("battitori") from the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano arrive at the warehouse to "tap" the cheeses and check the quality.