I am just back from Amelia and it was great to participate in the olive harvest and taste the new oil. The hot weather this summer and lack of rain has been hard on the olive. This year there is not much fruit on the trees and what there is is very ripe. The good news is that what oil is being produced is quite good. There is still a grassy finish and the tingle that new oil should have. Some of last year’s fruit is lacking but this oil is still well balanced and has a nice bitter almond finish that really characterizes the Colli Amerini area. I think this comes from that touch of Moraiolo and Rajo that balances the grassieness of the Frantoio and the buttery tones of Leccino cultivars.
It was great to have a chance to spend some time with Francesco and his parents. We started to make plans for the future–next year we want to sell a rajo monocultivar. I will keep you posted on this. We also talked about organic farming and the ups and downs of dop certifications.
The frantoio was in tip-top shape with fresh olives flowing in. Francesco’s new Alfa Laval equipment is working beautifully and produces great results. This centrifuge really keeps the heat low and the oil remains really rich, in contrast to some watery burnt oil I saw and tasted at another frantoio in the area (I will not name it here).
I had a chance to pick olives with friends and visit a number of mills. I will be writing more about my visit to Amelia in the next week. This trip was hugely stimulating and reminded me of my passion for Amelia and olive oil. All I can say is that it was great to go back to the town I love.