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New season olive oil on the table now

We’ve got a small supply of a very fine example of brand new, hot off the presses fresh olive oil. This one is from the Capezzana estate, north west of Florence in Tuscany, an estate that has been producing olive oil for literally thousands of years but which is bang up to date with its modern production methods and style of oil.

For those of you with an appetite for information on what you’re eating, here are some notes – courtesy of Liberty Wines – on the growing and processing history of the bottles of oil we’ve just received:

GROVES:
Olive trees in this area, close to the most northern frontier of olive
cultivation, produce less than one tenth of the quantity produced
by those in milder, more southerly climes. This oil is made primarily
from Moraiolo. This is an early ripening variety, so the olives tend to
be blacker when picked resulting in softer, fruitier oils. The estate
has 140 hectares of olive groves with 26,000 trees.

HARVEST:
Spring was very wet and at the beginning of April it snowed with
temperatures close to zero. The cool temperatures inhibited
flowering of the earlier ripening Moraiolo variety especially at the
low altitudes. The last rain of any significance (30mm) was on 13th
June and was followed by a long dry, hot spell. Fortunately, on 28th
August 28mm of rain fell, saving production. In September it
continued to rain sporadically, providing enough water for the crop
to ripen. The olives harvested were beautiful – healthy, ripe and
fleshy. Harvest started a week earlier than usual on 15th October.

PRODUCTION:
Capezzana has recently improved its technique for olive oil
production to obtain a fruitier oil with lower levels of oleic acid. In
Extra Virgin olive oil, the level of oleic acid must not exceed 0.8%
(Capezzana’s rarely reaches 0.2%). This is achieved by picking early
and processing the olives within 12 hours. Ultra modern, stainless
steel continuous presses are used. Most experts agree that this
method of pressing results in fresher, cleaner oils that retain their
colour and fruitiness for a longer period of time as oxidation has
been prevented. The oil is then settled in a mixture of terracotta
‘orci’ (urns) and stainless steel vats before bottling.

TASTE:
Vivid bright green in colour, the Capezzana oil is remarkably
elegant and delicate. It is soft and fruity in style, with a touch spice.
It is perfect for drizzling over freshly baked bread and for dressing
salads.

Posted on: 27 November 2012

 
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