Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil : Harvest 2017

by Laura Gray on January 30, 2018

This year harvest started on 27th October and finished on 10th November. Our total production from the fruit of 1.000 trees was a mere 1.224 500 ml. bottles. The timing of picking is crucial and linked to the organoleptic characteristics of Extra Virgin Olive Oil; the ratio of fruit and bitterness, spice and sweetness. The best time is at invaiatura, the moment in which the olives change colour from green to black. Our olives are picked by hand and pressed on the same day with the award-winning, world-famous olive press, Frantoio Franci, in nearby Montenero.

2017 will always be remembered as The Hot Dry Year; it hardly rained from March until October. Unprecedented heat in spring when the trees were flowering reduced the number of olives on the trees. Some of the unlucky trees in the path of the hottest winds were completely bare of fruit. Fortunately extreme temperatures affect the survival and reproduction of the olive fruit fly which was such a trial in 2016 in all of Tuscany. This year the olives were healthy though small and not numerous. Their challenging pit to pulp ratio required extra care and skill in the extraction of the oil. Tuscan olive oil production is down by 40% but the oil content per olive was way above average thanks to the drought, ranging from 15% to 17% (so 15-17 liters per 100 kg of olives picked and pressed).

Our 2017 oil has great concentration and high polyphenols so is both very good for you and delicious. The slight bitterness you should taste is a sign of a high level of anti-oxidants, wonderful for health. A prickle at the back of your throat after swallowing denotes the presence of a natural anti-inflammatory; a cough or two is de rigeur when tasting fine extra virgin olive oil. The heat of the summer has meant that there is more grass and artichoke and less fruity notes.

Latest research indicates that nutrient absorption is increased when salads are dressed in olive oil… what are you waiting for?

If you are in the US, do contact jenny@ilpalazzone.com to be added to our waiting list. 180 bottles of 2017 harvest will be arriving in March 2018. If you are from anywhere else, send me an email laura@ilpalazzone.com  and I would be delighted to find a way to unite you with your own liquid gold.

“Adam and Eve” – a 2002 work by sculptor Dani Karavan. Spoerri Garden, Seggiano

 

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