Thomas Bernhart started out by leasing the Pulthuab farm, which has holdings spread out between the villages of Ciardes and Castelbello. More recently he was able to buy it.
He prepared himself well for his dream of becoming his own boss. He went to the South Tyrol technical college for fruit production, viticulture and horticulture in Laimburg and majored in nature-oriented production methods. Five years ago he converted the Pulthuab farm to organics and grows Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Gala and Red Delicious for sale. He also makes wine and grows potatoes for his family because "you know what you've got if you planted it yourself."
He completely relies on his home's natural environment. On the one hand his soils are light, free-draining, and have long-lasting fertility thanks to organic farming. On the other, the Val Venosta climate gives him unusually warm days full of sunshine combined with cold mountain nights. The harvest is always the high point of the year for him: "That's when I can hold the fruits of my labour in my own hands, and biting into the first ripe Gala is my most enjoyable reward."