We planted our olive groves in 1994/1995 with the Leccino, Correggiolo and Moraiolo cultivars alongside a selection of pollinators.
Our groves are located at around 400m above sea level and benefit from a particular microclimate receiving the moderating sea breezes as well as the tramontana wind from the North. We prune annually and fertilize in accordance with the regional regulations 25/99 in order to give the greatest respect to nature and the resulting product. This then allows us to obtain an integrated farming certification from ‘Agriqualita’.
Part of our Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP Toscano is certified by the Consortium to ensure the quality and organoleptic characteristics meet the “real” extra virgin olive oil expectations. In fact, there is evidence that most of the olive oil sold in Italy and abroad is partially if not completely adulterated and mixed with lamp, ground, coloured and flavored oils. It is a real jungle.
This year’s olives have suffered numerous attacks from the olive fruit fly. For years we’ve been using the EcoTrap to sterilize and limit the spread of the reproductive cycle of this fly, but this year it just didn’t work. On top of this terrible nemesis, in 2014 we suffered heavy rain during the summer, so the oil doesn’t have the concentration of bitterness and spice that you typically find in Tuscan olive oil.
The harvest has nonetheless been plentiful for us, bucking the general trend for the rest of Italy, which has suffered a staggering 50% loss of olive oil production in 2014.
As soon as we have the sensory data and classification of ‘flavour’ of our 2014 oil, we will publish it. We don’t expect the quality of 2012 but the first impressions confirm the oil is moderately fruity with a hint of artichoke. Delicate, but long on the finish with a soft mouthfeel and pleasant taste of hay and cut grass. The colour at the time of writing is an intense green rich in chlorophyll, although we know it will move towards a yellowish green in the spring whilst maintaining its intensity.
The lack of extra virgin olive oil on the market has led to a significant increase in consumer prices (25/30% more than last year) despite it being of poorer quality in general. That sounds crazy, but it is the state of the market!
If you are about to buy your stock of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we suggest you ask to see the organoleptic tests issued by an accredited testing laboratory. Some olive oils produced from 2014 despite being from the first cold press can not be considered extra virgin if they exceed 1% of acidity (expressed as oleic acid).