Extravirgin Olive Oil “Sassi Bianchi ” begins its Life in its olive tree grove, on the fields on the hilly area of the ancient Farms of Montorsoli and Poggio cavallo.
Trees have been grafted on native wild olive-trees (Olea Oleaster).
Tipycal sorts of olive: Frantoio (main), Leccino and Moraiolo.
The olive tree grove “Sassi Bianchi ” is cultivated in accordance with the principles notions of sustainable agriculture, comparable to organic / biological agriculture, without the use of chemicals.
“Daddy” Alfiero honors and respects the hills, the plants and the whole “productive chain” guarding and looking after all the steps from the seed to the shop.
It is noted that the oil maintains intact the quality and the capacity of preservation until a reaction of probable enzymatic origin stops the anti-oxidant properties. From this moment begins the aging process. All of this occurs when the olive arrives at maturity and falls spontaneously from the tree. As a rule, the mature olive gives oil in large quantities, of a light odor and taste, but it is more difficult to conserve. Instead, the immature olive gives less oil, however it can be conserved for a longer period and with strong olfactory-gustatory notes.
The more harmonious product, obviously, is that which is derived from olives at the right point of maturation. The more able olive grower therefore, is the one who knows how to perceive with greater precision the optimum moment in which the olives are ready to produce oil in greater quantity which is more easily preserved. In other words, the typology of the product depends on the level of maturation of the olives. In particular there can be distinguished three types of extra-virgin olive oil according to the state of maturation of the olives.
1) Mature olives give an oil with an almond hue.
2) Instead, olives which are darkened (dark skin, light pulp) produce an harmonic but savory oil.
3) Finally, from immature olives derives an oil with character, with a strong fragrance and taste.
Once harvested, the olives continue their vegetal life and they also conserve the expiratory functions on which the qualitative stability of the oil seems to depend. But in order for all to go well, they must be placed immediately in shallow wooden or plastic cases (10.15 cm., to evade crushing and over-heating) and stocked in an area cool and well ventilated for the shortest time possible (maximum 1 day).
In the oil press, the first operation consists in eliminating the dirt, twigs and leaves (some healthy leaves, however, give the oil a fresh, spicy flavor) and then washing the olives in cold water. They are dried by passing them through special vibrating grills which also removes any residual dirt.
Now the olives are ready to be reduced to pulp (pasta). Today the oil presses are mostly of the “pan mill” or “hammer” types, but even the most modern machines are made, in one way or another, in the ancient method of the grindstone, or millstone, that crushed the olives turning inside a basin.
Kneading has the purpose of combining (coalescence) the oil present in the pasta and of releasing the aromatic substances in the oil.
In the traditional system the extraction of the oil came by pressure. The pasta obtained from the olives is spread in thin layers on filtrating disks (fiscolus) and piled one upon the other on a platform, intermixed with heavy metal disks (usually the sequence is composed of three disks of pasta, one filtrating disk and one steel disk). An hydraulic press completes the work. The method most used today however is the centrifuge, whose principle, as noted, is based on the different weight specific to the substances. The pasta is then made to rotate in a container (drum) and thanks to centrifugal force the remaining vegetal matter (olive residues) and the must (juice) separate, arranging themselves one upon the other as do the layers of an onion and they are then removed by a scroll. With both methods the must is obtained, a rather dense liquid constituted of oil and water that must be separated. At one time they used skimming, or rather, they waited until the oil, lighter than water, spontaneously rose, to then collect it with a “lecca”, a type of flat ladle. Today there exists special vertical centrifuges (separators). The last operation is the filtering which eliminates the residual impurities.
Sassi Bianchi – Azienda Agricola di Alfiero Pellegrini
High quality of Tuscan Extravirgin Olive Oil
Address: Via del Peruzzo, 42
58100 Istia d’Ombrone – Grosseto – Toscana – Italia
Telephone +39 339 75 25 317 (italian speaker)