The olive harvest is carried out by placing nets under the olive trees and shaking the branches with mechanical arms that, vibrating, make the olives fall. This process takes place between the beginning of October and the middle of December.
The olives, previously assembled in polyethylene containers, are poured into the hopper (a sort of large steel funnel), which transfers the olives to the conveyor belt. This transports them to the defoliator to separate them from leaves and twigs. At this point the olives are washed and, after draining the water, dried.
The olives are crushed in order to obtain a thick and creamy paste. This operation takes place by means of hammers that crush the drupes without causing friction and heat, which would compromise their quality by starting the oxidation process.
At this stage, the olive paste is transferred to the kneading machine, where it is slowly mixed by mechanical arms at a temperature of between 20 and 27 ºC (cold pressed), for a time not exceeding 60 minutes. This action aims to aggregate the drops of oil present, ensuring the preservation of the organoleptic qualities of the product that if heated would tend to lose.
At the end of the kneading process the paste passes through the decanter, a horizontal centrifuge that with its rotating action separates the paste into 3 products: the olive pomace, the vegetable water and the oily must. This is sent to a vertical separator that divides the oil from the remaining impurities.
In the last phase the oil obtained is stored in stainless steel silos under nitrogen, in a room with controlled temperature, in order to preserve the organoleptic qualities of the product.
When, at about the beginning of October, the olives have reached the right degree of ripeness we collect them with care and, once the harvest is over, we immediately go to the oil mill where the oil is extracted cold (at a temperature of 24°-25°), so that the yield of scents and flavours is perfect.
The sensory analysis of extra virgin olive oil has always been entrusted to our Blend Master who bases his skills on a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge of gastronomy, chemistry and biology, combined with the experience he has developed over time. Thanks to it, our blendmaster is able to select the best oils in order to guarantee an always high quality standard.
The tasting rules for extra virgin olive oil are precise, as are the means used. To select oils, the Blend Master must evaluate their quality through a sensory analysis that has the task of envying their strengths and weaknesses and measuring their organoleptic characteristics. In order to reduce the influence of external factors, the expert shall carry out the test in a cabin which is insulated from odours and noise and under comfortable conditions. In order not to judge the oil by colour, blue or dark coloured glasses are used. The process of tasting extra virgin olive oil includes an olfactory analysis, followed by a more complex tasting phase, where the taster holds the oil in his mouth for a few seconds to perceive the aftertaste, fluidity and consistency.