Our oil is produced in early November, when the olives on the trees have just started to change their colour This process is called in Italian invaiatura, and the olives from light green, turn dark purple. In this period, the amount of oil into the olive has reached the maximum and it won't grow more. Also the polyphenols are at their maximum.
The polyphenols are complex molecules with a big number of open hydrogen links; from this characteristic comes their antioxidant effect. Other antioxidant elements in olives are the mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids. These elements and the fact that olive oil is cholesterol free, make it the healthiest choice in cooking. ...and it is also delicious!
We produce our organic extra virigin olive oil together with some of our neighbours, requiring they follow our same high standards to guarantee the same quality of olive oil. First of all we chose to accept only organic olives grown from the same pedo-climatic area as ours (ie same sort of soil and climate) and of the same cultivars (ie: same varieties of trees: leccino, moraiolo, brocanica, itrana, etc.). Then we require that the olives be picked at the season of the "invaiatura" and not later, that the olives are not bruised during picking and that the olives be milled within the day. These procedures ensure the lowest acidity levels, infact our oil is virtually acid-free, and best preservation of all the flavours in the olives into the oil. The result, you will agree, is unmistakably different to other industrially produced that you can find on the market.
Since our olive oil is produced early in November, the oil sold in the first months may form some deposit called "morchia". This is normal and is the small residual left from the separation of the solids and oily part of the paste produced in the milling of the olives. If you plan to use your oil within spring, this will not affect the flavour. If you want to keep your olive oil for longer, then it is best to remove the deposit by pouring out the oil until the "morchia" only is left, washing the bottle with very hot soapy water and pouring the oil back when the bottle is perfectly dry. If you buy our oil later in the year we will have done this for you.
On the other hand we advise you don't keep your olive oil and that you savour it when it is at its best! Infact olive oil deteriorates with time and is most flavourful when just picked. We cherish that first taste, when tired from the hard days' work, we reach home with our new harvest and with our family and friends who helped with the picking we grill some country-style bread on the wood fire, rub some fresh garlic on it and drown it in the new oil with a sprinkle of salt.
The key factors to preserving the taste of your olive oil is to keep it away from oxidation and light. Don't keep your olive oil in your fancy serving bottle which is not airtight: unless you are using it regularly and refilling it, pour the oil out if you will not use the serving bottle for a while. Remember to keep your bottles away in the cupboard so they are in the dark most of the time - by the way, that is why our bottle are dark green! If you put our olive oil in a clear bottle in sunlight the colour will change rapidly, as will the taste; this just shows how artisanal and unadulterated our product is.
Well stored oil will keep most of its flavour for at least a year but once you open it we suggest you use it quickly. That also means you should pick the size that suits your rate of usage. If you haven't used olive oil before or plan (for some reason!) to use it only occasionally you should try the smaller bottles but once you have become addicted to the wonderful effect it has on every dish, you might go for the 3liter carton which keeps the oil perfectly in the dark and the inner pouch shrinks as you use your oil without letting any air in contact with your reserve.