Some advice so as to recognize good quality oil and some news regarding my 2015 extra virgin, mono-cultivar from Moraiolo and Correggiolo olives and the blend
THE TREQUANDA TERRITORY AND ITS GREAT VOCATION FOR OIL
50% of the quality depends on the “terroir”, 25% on the olive varieties and the method of picking, the remainder 25% is the merit of the olive mill. Fattoria del Colle is in one of the best areas in Tuscany for extra virgin olive oil. An extraordinary region where thanks to the dry, cools and ventilated climate pesticides have never been necessary.
Trequanda, where our farm is, is distant from the sea and quite high up with an altitude (404 m) to not have problems with the oleic fly; this lays its eggs in the olives and ruins them.
At Fattoria del Colle this horrible insect has arrived twice in two centuries one of which last year. We were unprepared and unfortunately lost our olives. In 2015 fortunately it has not been so but to be sure eco friendly trap-baits were used for the flies. If they had come we would have caught them. The 2015 olives are well formed and the pulp is consistent and hard.
OLIVE PICKING AT FATTORIA DEL COLLE
No flies and a splendid quantity of olives in the 6 hectares of olive grove. The olive harvest has already begun, slightly sooner than usual so that the warm climate during 2015 autumn do not damage the quality of the harvest. According to Tuscan tradition the olives are picked off the tree when they are still green. To accelerate times rakes are used to pull the olives off, and then they fall into big nets beneath the trees. The olives are then kept in perforated crates and taken each day to the mill.
Extra virgin olive oil is a pressing of the olives and its quality depends on the olive buts also on the mill owner who must have experience and a touch of artistry. The people working at the mill must be prepared to work the machines at low temperatures (less than 27°C), checking on the whole procedure with great attention: the washing of the olives, the spinning which separate the oil from its water. The Frantoio Oliviera Sant’Angelo in Castelmuzio SI is where Fattoria del Colle has its olives pressed. The owner is called Paolo Bindi and he is a young man very impassioned by his work. He is a second generation olive mill worker, a maestro, as his father began it in 1983. We have chosen it after having tried another. After being pressed the oil is kept in stainless steel containers at 15°C saturated with nitrogen so that this precious liquid does not get oxidized through the contact with air. Only the IGP type is filtered, the mono cultivar are left natural.
THE 3 EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS AT FATTORIA DEL COLLE
Two small quantities of separate Correggiolo and Moraiolo olive have been picked while the mixed oil will become IGP Toscana. Sale of our oils takes place practically only at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda, at Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and in our store Toscana Lovers in Siena. The Correggiolo has an intense aroma of artichoke and a strong, full, spicy taste. The Moraiolo has a gentler imprint and more oily both on the nose and in the mouth. The IGP is more harmonious.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE BEST EXTRAVIRGIN
First of all you need the right equipment: a transparent glass without any etching and a green apple to remove the taste between one sample and another. Main piece of advice: go and buy in the region of production, visit the olive groves and the scented storeroom where the green gold is stored.
Use your senses to recognize the best oil
Observation is very useful in understanding frauds: olive oil rotates slowly in the glass while if sunflower seed oil it is much more fluid and fast. The colour though – while young it is green, and yellow after a few months – is not very relevant as it can easily be counterfeited.
The aroma is more truthful. The oil must be heated (28°C) by holding the cup with one hand and with the other covering it so all the perfumes are captured. Good oils have an aroma of artichoke and cut grass (fruity and green) or sweet fruit (ripe and fruity).
The tasting must be done before and not after a meal. It’s is best also not to smoke before, as it is also bets not to wear perfume or have aromas in the ambiance. It seems difficult but it is not, it takes only some practice. Between one sample and the other is best to have some apple.
Technically one takes a sip of oil, it must be chewed and air inspired through your teeth continuing for about 30 seconds. The perception will be slowly more intense, before swallowing or spitting out the oil and will last at length.
We will taste some bitterness, spiciness, dry astringency. The bitter-pungent taste is a value and indicates a great amount of polyphenols (antioxidants, potion for eternal youth). But most of all it is the olfactory harmony that must be sought out