The Italian Olive Oil Industry
Italy’s patchwork of diverse climates is home to an estimated 2.5 million acres of land dedicated to olive trees. This includes some specimens that are truly ancient and some of the oldest olive trees in the world at an estimated 3000-4000 years old.
Producing an average 460,000 tons of olive oil a year, Italy is Europe’s second largest supplier, over two-thirds of which is Extra Virgin. Olives are grown in 18 of 20 regions in Italy but are predominantly grown in the southern regions such as Puglia, Calabria, Basilicata, and Sicily, and our oils originate from both Sicily and Tuscany
Italy’s Family Tradition
Italian olive oil is unique in that each region cultivates the olives very specific to each area, with over 500 varieties of olives on record.
Premium Italian extra virgin olive oil is almost exclusively produced by family-owned estate operations who manage every step of the process from tree to bottle. It is in these traditional, family-run, dedicated producers who account for much of Italian olive oil’s excellence.
Italian Cuisine and Olive Oil
Italian Olive oil is sometimes (when not the green variety!) referred to as ‘liquid gold’, and is a key ingredient in Italian cuisine, and is viewed by some as the ‘king’ or most important ingredient in any classic Italian meal. Olive oil forms the basis for much of Italian cooking and is used in everything from sauces to salad dressings, and as a condiment on the dinner table so it can be drizzled over virtually every dish!
Location Matters: Sicilian and Tuscan Olive Oil
Sicilian olives can trace their origins back to the ancient Greeks who are thought to be among the first to domesticate the Oleaster, the wild olive trees that grew throughout the area. A combination of the islands fertile soil and mild Mediterranean climate make it a perfect location for growing olives and producing premium Italian oils, such as our Sicilian Olive Oil.
Toscana, or Tuscany in English, is viewed by most as the classic olive oil region of Italy. Olive oil from the Chianti regions of Toscana is known worldwide for their high-quality, something which rings true for our Tuscan olive oil; Frescobaldi. Typical to olives produced in the region, Frescobaldi has a clear brilliant green colour and a clean, spicy and fruity flavour.