November in Italy. Freshly pressed wine and chestnuts, the first wisps of woodsmoke in the air and families on standby to pitch in with the annual olive harvest. As the news season oil trickles bright green out of the presses children watch wide-eyed and eager, slices of fresh bread in their hand, ready to devour 'pane e olio ' with this year’s new oil. Adults anticipate their first taste too, waiting for that initial spicy kick that catches the back of the throat, instant marker of a quality oil.
Late autumn is the best time of year to taste extra virgin olive oil at its peak. Why not adopt a tree as an original Christmas gift for a loved one?
Harvest time at the Woodland Wilds grove. Up in the hills the clean air and sparsely populated countryside make for great growing conditions and superb oil.
The Olive Harvest
A Farmer's Job
Harvesting olives for oil is more complex that it might first seem! An olive farmer usually plants their grove according to common combinations of olive varietals. However, when it comes to pressing the olives they must also take into account the results of that year's harvest, which can be affected by weather conditions or pests that could have altered the yield of their plants. It’s a tricky job requiring sound knowledge of olive variety characteristics, careful planning of when is the right time to harvest and an instinct for mixing olive types in order to predict what an oil might taste like when it trickles out of the presses.