How our oils are produced
Since 1910 we have been producing a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil obtained from the selection of the best olives from Puglia and produced in compliance with the ancient olive oil tradition, combined with the most modern extraction and bottling technologies.
THE OLIVE TREE
The olive tree belongs to the “oleaceae” family. It is one of the oldest and most important plants that characterize the regions of the Mediterranean basin; it is always green, that is, it is part of that category of plants that never lose their leaves but are renewed every two to three years, or even earlier, in the case of annual pruning, which always stimulates new vegetation.
It has a well-developed and extensive root system so as to penetrate into the more tortuous parts of the subsoil, for this reason the olive tree is a plant that has very strong survival skills, reaching over a hundred years in environments that are not particularly favorable.
The leaf is lanceolate, green-gray in the upper part while it is silver-green in the lower one. The flowers are white in color forming a cluster inflorescence in the period April-May. The resulting fruit, the olive, has different shapes depending on the variety, however almost oval: there are exceptions such as the “peranzana” cultivar where the fruit takes on a more rounded shape.
The olive is made up of an external part, thin and transparent, called “epicarp”, an intermediate part called “mesocarp” or “pulp” from which the greatest quantity of oil is obtained, and an internal part called “endocarp” commonly called “core”. The olive matures in the winter period, from October until January, according to the different cultivars. It is a fruit that has a very long life cycle of about 8 months, from the inflorescence to the ripening of the fruit, subjecting the tree to strong productive stress.
For four generations
THE OLIVE HARVEST
THE D’ADDATO METHOD
Olives are traditionally harvested by beating the branches with sticks, so as to cause the fall of the fruits that are collected on nets arranged at the time of collection under the plant.
Another more modern technique involves the use of light mechanical harvesters that shake the branches with less damage to the plant.
Another method consists in harvesting with mechanical shakers that wrap the trunk of the tree with a rubber gripper and then transmit subtle vibrations that cause the olives to fall on the nets prepared before this operation.
Recently there are olive groves defined as “super intensive” consisting of hedgerows, which are harvested with straddle machines, very similar to those used in espalier vineyards for the collection of wine grapes.
THE PROCESSING OF OLIVES
The olives, once collected by our farmers, are transferred to our oil mill. It is our concern to select the best olives in the field, particularly those from trees pruned regularly every year and with an optimal state of ripeness (veraison).
Before being transferred to our oil mill, the olives are weighed and identified in special lots and then sent to transformation in a very short time, from 6 to 24 hours, to obtain an oil that has the typical aromas of freshly pressed olives.
Immediately afterwards the pressing occurs. In this process the olives are crushed inside a closed steel container (crusher) equipped with a spoke hammer that rotates quickly to crush the freshly entered olives, making them come out from a grid with uniform holes, to obtain an olive paste with a homogeneous grain size, very important for the subsequent processing stages.
The paste of the olives, already kneaded, is pumped into the decanter which, due to the centrifugal force, separates into oil and vegetation water which represent the liquid phase and in pomace which represents the solid phase (three-phase processing). Centrifugation can also take place in two phases: in this case the oil alone represents the liquid phase and the vegetation water together with the pomace represent the most humid solid phase, due to the presence of the same vegetation water in the pomace.
STORAGE AND BOTTLING
Then the oil is put into steel containers (silos) of first storage and subsequently in other silos present in an underground warehouse, at ideal controlled temperature, in which the oil is stored waiting to be used in the next stage of bottling .
The packaging takes place in an automatic linear plant where the oil is bottled, labeled and packaged, ready to be delivered to our customers.
All our phases of the production process, from the entry of the olives in our oil mill to the bottling of the oil obtained from them, is traced by an internal company accounting able to identify the entire production chain.