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  • The study of soil and ecosystem.
  • The optimisation of the base systems.
  • Pruning methods.
  • Partial and total mechanization.
  • The study of defence systems for the plants.
    (phytohealh defences)
  • Fertilization of the soil.
  • Leaf-fertilization, aimed at increasing crop productivity:
    Vegetative recovery, Pre-flowering, Setting, Oil-enrichment.


  • Consulting for soil preparation.
  • Pre-planting fertilization of the soil.
  • Selection of the adapt olive varieties best suited for the natural and climatic adversities of the ecosystem, and the quality characteristics desired from the end product.


  • Sensory characteristics, profiles of the olive oil.
  • Chemical analysis.
  • Studies for the categorizing of the product.
  • Individual or group courses for olive oil tasting.


  • Systems and machinery of Pressing and Extraction.
  • The study of problems found in the coupling of different machinery types.
  • The adjusting and influencing on the characteristics of the oil.



The most important aspect of olive growing for the future involves the perfecting of basic systems and techniques: pruning, fertilization, phytohealth defences, mechanisation, and above all the creating of new systems according to more modern and rational agronomic criteria.

This is the phase that will meet with the greatest number of problems over the next few years due to high costs and the growing scarcity of skilled labour capable of carrying out this important and equally delicate operation. Modern-day criteria suggest the pruning of olive trees in a less aggressive manner than in the past. Excessive pruning in fact causes the plant to shift its own biological equilibrium towards the differentiation between "leaf" buds and "flower" buds, thus contributing towards the so-called "alternation" in production that represents one of the main drawbacks in modern and profitable olive growing.
With the developing of several "clonal selections" of specific varieties, still in the experimental phase, we will eventually finish upwith mechanical and inline pruning, and even non-pruning.


Less pruning is therefore the answer to keeping growing costs down and achieving a superior "olive yield", if combined however, with a suitable and above all "targeted" fertilization. Leaf-fertilization is subsequently taking on a more important role, and while it must not replace in-depth fertilization (or composting), it can often be integrated at extremely low costs compared to the results obtained. With targeted leaf-fertilization based on specific products consisting of active, organic biostimulators (vitamins, enzymes, humic and fulvic acids)
as well as macro and micro elements indispensable for the physiological processes of the tree, surprising results can be obtained at more than acceptable costs, with production increases of up to 100%.
This however, requires intervention during the fundamental phases of the biological phases, and consequently the productive life of the olive tree: vegetative recovery, pre-flowering, setting, hardening of the stone and oil enrichment.


For the complete mechanisation of the olive grove the system must be pre-arranged right from the beginning, with regard to both the choice of cultivars and/or clonal varieties, and the form of plant breeding and arrangement of the installations. With traditional olive growing, (meaning trees already in existence), partial forms of mechanisation can be introduced, with mechanical aids like the vibrating combs which stand out thanks to their ability to double and even triple the quantity of oil produced per-capita per day, with considerable cuts in labour costs as well.

In designing a new plantation it is essential to consider the precocity of entering in production, the high and above all constant productivity, the rationality depending on the ecosystem, and the farm's requirements. After a correct mechanical preparation of the land and an adequate composting of the soil for re-establishing fertility, the choice of the most appropriate varieties and clonal selections according to the environment and climate is without doubt the aspect requiring the greatest care. In fact each variety possesses specific intrinsic, morphological and functional characteristics. For example, every Tuscan olive grower knows that the Leccino variety has a greater resistance to low temperatures than the Frantoio variety, however within the range of certain varieties there are already genetic selections (clones) available on the market that are particularly resistant to certain adverse conditions and phytpathologies, and numerous other varieties are in the process of being studied and/or patented.

At this stage it is important to point out that each variety produces a "monocultivar" oil generally characterised by a marked organoleptic typicality, in other words by its own specific taste, also influenced by the pressing and extraction systems utilised.
While still in Tuscany, we should also point out for example, that the oil of the Leccino variety tends to be "sweeter" in comparison to that of the Frantoio variety, which is instead more "fruity", and also more "pungent" and "bitter".

Fruitiness, bitterness, pungency, sweetness represent the most important sensory attributes of olive oil and may vary considerably depending on the cultivars (in Tuscany alone approximately 80 have been identified up to date).
Moreover, these varieties often present very marked differences, also deriving from their ripening periods.
The Leccino for example, is a precocious variety while the Moraiolo, another classic Tuscan cultivar, is a late ripener. In a modern and rational olive growing business it is most important to divide the various cultivars into sectors in order to be able carry out a differentiated picking in line with the ripening, and thus obtain perfect mono-variety oils with different characteristics, after which it will be the olive oil producer's responsibility to formulate the most appropriate mixtures according to the company's requirements.
Consequently, you must also keep these organoleptic diversities in mind when planning a new system, as well as evaluate the markets demands and trends, in striving for a product "typicality", increasingly more important for leaving the masses behind and creating your own commercial strategy. For this purpose it is essential for only olive saplings of certain origin to be purchased, even better if certified
and guaranteed both from a genetic and phyopathological point of view. Despite their higher unitary costs, the precocious entering into production, constant productivity, and specific genetic characteristics like higher resistance to natural adversities of certain "clones", will more than repay the careful olive grower.


The final organoleptic characteristics of olive oil (in other words, the flavour), are the result of various factors:
the production ecosystem (soil, altitude, climate), the olive varieties (and their degree of ripening), and lastly, the pressing and extracting techniques. Likewise with the ecosystem and variety, by intervening on the pressing and extracting techniques, the organoleptic profile of a product can be radically altered.

The main olive transforming phases are as follows:

  • Washing and ventilating: to remove leaves and impurities.
  • Pressing: mechanical pressing of the olives. (see the movie)
  • Kneading: homogenisation of the paste obtained.
  • Extraction: of the liquid part (mixture of water and oil) from the solid part (olive residues).
    (see the movie)
  • Separation: of the oil from the vegetation water. (see the movie)

The pressing system in particular (meaning the different mechanical pressing methods), that the olive skin, pulp and stone are subjected to has the greatest effect on the organoleptic profile of the oil.

  • Stone Muller and Rollers:  exalt the   Sweetness  and the   Yellow-gold        colour
  • Hammer press:                    exalt the   Bitterness  and the   Green-gold         colour
  • Cogged disc press:              exalt the    Pungency  and the    Brilliant green   colour

The Extraction phase is also a determining factor with regard to the organoleptic profile and may be of the following types:

  • Traditional:   or by pressure with a fiscoli press.
  • Modern:       or centrifuge with decanter.
  • Sinolea:        or by percolation and double extraction.

Very different results are obtained from each of these systems, with respect to both the chemical and organoleptic characteristics and also the density and appearance of the product. With the modern kneading-decanter systems we can also intervene with other parameters like kneading times, temperature of the paste, and percentage of water added in the decanter, all relevant in our quest for the highest quality. On summing up this brief description about how transformation techniques can greatly influence the final "flavour" of the product, and on the basis of my experience and experimentation with almost every type of mono-variety oil system in existence for the major Tuscan cultivars, I wish to point out how even the different oil-producing machinery manufacturers contribute towards the characterisation to the product. To be more precise, if we use the same crop of olives and the same type of machinery, produced however by different manufacturers, we often obtain completely different olive oils.
The technical themes described above are of quite recent acquisition and still in the process of being studied and analysed by the most important researchers and experts in this sector, however, from all this it appears clear that the variables regarding the differentiation and research for the highest product quality are many and varied.
The careful producer, by starting out with a specific ecosystem, can intervene on the varieties, targeting the ones that are most suited to his own type of product. Lastly, by choosing the most appropriate transformation system (and most suitable manufacturer), he will be able to exalt certain characteristics and tone down others, for the purpose of highlighting the aftertastes and hidden aromas, and thus be able to perfect his own product in his quest for the best possible commercial strategy.

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