Olive trees in Italy began in Salento
Salento is a beautiful county part of the Apulia Region in Southern Italy. When you visit Salento you immediately recognize the following key features:
1. The wisdom of local people (originally called Messapi)
2. Olive trees
3. Primitivo wine grapes
4. Historical ruins
Puglia is the easternmost
region of Italy bathed by the southern portion of the Adriatic Sea and the
Ionian Sea and is characterized by a distinctly Mediterranean, semi-arid
The rains amount to an
average of 600 mm per year, are irregular and are concentrated, for about two
thirds, in the winter period, even with some snowfall at low altitudes, due to
incursions of cold air from the north or north-east.
The winds that blow most
frequently in Puglia come mainly from the southern quadrants; in summer the
ascents of the Scirocco or Libeccio accompany invasions of very hot African air
that cause rapid and marked surges of the thermometers. Temperatures are very
mild overall, especially in the coastal plains for most of the year.
The karst nature of much of
the Apulian territory and the scarcity of rainfall make the region particularly
poor in surface waterways. Puglia has no orographic barriers.
Half of the Apulian territory
is flat, with altitudes that do not exceed 100 meters in height.
The hilly area reaches just
over 680 meters above sea level. The distinctive characteristics of Apulian
olive growing are attributable to these very particular geographical,
orographic and pedoclimatic conditions, which make the olive tree's agronomic suitability
exceptional. The particular climatic trend that occurs in the typical
geographical area of cultivation,
before described, during the phases of olive oiling and ripening of the fruits
represents the first factor important environmental, essential in determining
certain product quality indices, such as phenolic and volatile content. The
thermal and water stresses that occur during the inolition phase of the olives
(August-September) induce the synthesis of polyphenols which accumulate inside
the fruits themselves. Polyphenols are formed as a result of intense stress,
such as water and / or stress thermal and are used by the tree itself to
counteract the production of free radicals. The autumn rains
(October-November), on the other hand, favor the synthesis of volatile
compounds. This particular temporal succession of the Apulian climatic
conditions, ie hot and dry during olive oiling and fresher and moister during
fruit ripening, it determines first the accumulation of polyphenols and
subsequently that of volatile compounds. Polyphenols conferbitter and spicy and
determine the health value that is a characteristic typical and distinctive
quality of the "Puglia Oil" PGI compared to the quality standard of products
of the same type obtained outside the production area. The seconds confer, instead,
those typical vegetable scents of the "Puglia Oil" PGI described in
The interaction of these
characteristics combined with the genotypes of olives determines an expression unique
phenotypic. The scientific literature confirms the genotype / environment
binomial on the qualitative characteristics of the product is wide and the
evidence dates back to the early 1960s.
The prevalent cultivars are
the oldest regional cultivated varieties and are widespread throughout the regional
territory, albeit with more specialized areas. These cultivars favor the
obtaining of oil with specific chemical and sensory characteristics, clearly
identifiable that define a profile easily recognizable by the consumer.
Puglia, thanks to this variability of conditions described above,
generates a production of extra virgin olive oils with wide ranges of color,
fruity, bitter and characteristics spicy that added to the biophenol content
(> 250 mg / kg at the time of certification)
Salento has millennial culture in making olive oil:
1. There are more than 60 Million secular Olive trees in the Apulia Region.
2. Lecce is the capital of Salento. Lecce is the number one olive oil county in Italy and number two in Europe.
3. Every family has its own cultivar and makes olive oil for their own 60 liters of annual consumption.
4. There is one olive mill in every village, called frantoio.
This millennial experience has developed a unique olive oil value chain and Internet can now make it available in real time and worldwide.
This is why we have decided to transform our passion for secular olive trees and oil into excellence in this area. Our cultivar is located near Manduria in Torre Borraco. We believe that this area is a paradise for olive trees: the soil is dark red full of iron, there is almost no rain from May till October still the trees can take their water from the rich underground Carsic Springs.
You are all welcome to come and visit us here in Salento. We suggest to stay in the typical Masseria Hotel and we guarantee that you will have an experience you will never forget.