Extra virgin olive oil Olio Lucano IGP obtained from native olive varieties of Basilicata.
The cultivation of the olive tree in Basilicata has very ancient origins. Some archaeological excavations have revealed pieces of wood, olives, leaves and hazelnuts, dating back to the 6th century BC. And we owe the introduction in ancient Lucania of varieties that have adapted to the environment, such as the Maiatica, to the Greek colonists. The varietal panorama today includes Coratina, Leccino, Frantoio and Ogliarola, which together with the numerous local cultivars determine the specific characteristics of Lucano IGP oil.
The extra virgin olive oil Olio Lucano PGI is obtained from the fruits of the Acerenza, Ogliarola del Vulture (synonyms: Ripolese or Rapollese, Ogliarola di Melfi, Nostrale), Ogliarola del Bradano (synonyms: Comune, Ogliarola), Maiatica (synonyms: olive di Ferrandina, Pasola), Nociara, Ghiannara, Augelina, Justa, Cornacchiola, Romanella, Carpinegna, Faresana, Sammartinengna, Spinoso, Cannellina, Cima di Melfi, Fasolina, Fasolona, Lardaia, table olive, Orazio, Palmarola, Provenzale, Racioppa, Rome, Rotondella, Russulella, Scarpetta, Taranto, Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino. Other varieties may also contribute up to a maximum of 20%.
The geographical area of production of Lucanian PGI oil coincides with the entire territory of the Basilicata region.
The maximum unitary production permitted, for olive groves from which Lucano IGP oil is obtained, cannot exceed 10 tons of olives per hectare. The olive oiling operations must be carried out within 48 hours of harvesting, which must be carried out in the period between 15 September and 30 January of the following year. The harvest must take place directly from the plant, manually or with mechanical means; it is forbidden to collect the olives that have fallen naturally on the ground and those on permanent nets. The harvested olives must be transported and stored with care, in boxes, crates or other rigid containers that favor ventilation. Before milling, the olives are subjected to a process of defoliation and washing. The permanence of the olive paste in the kneader varies according to the degree of ripeness of the fruit, and the temperature of the water in the cavity of the kneader must ensure that the olive paste, during processing, does not undergo any alteration processes. For the extraction of the oil, only mechanical and physical processes are allowed to produce oils that have the peculiar original characteristics of the fruits. The average farm yield of olives in oil cannot exceed 22%. The oil must be stored in perfectly clean stainless steel containers.
LOOK AND TASTE
Lucanian PGI oil is characterized by a color between green and yellow. The bouquet is medium fruity, with perceptions of medium intensity, the taste is medium bitter and medium-spicy, with possible aromatic notes of fresh grass, artichoke, tomato, almond, apple. The harmony between the olfactory and gustatory notes is a common specific characteristic of this oil.
The olive tree in Basilicata has very ancient origins. The poet Horace, born in Venosa in 65 BC, already referred to the cultivation of olives in Basilicata as 'The branch of the olive tree that never deceives sprouts.' (Orazio, Epodi, 16, 41). Some archaeological excavations recovered in Pantello di Metaponto, coordinated by prof. Carter of the University of Austin (Texas), have unveiled pieces of wood, olives, leaves and hazelnuts, dating back to the sixth century BC. We owe the introduction in ancient Lucania of varieties that adapted to the environment to the Greek colonists, like maitica. The name Olio Lucano is instead well documented starting from the end of the 80s in trade, in common language and in scientific publications (Lupoli, 1989).
For correct storage, Olio Lucano PGI extra virgin olive oil should be kept in a cool, dry place away from heat sources and direct light. Due to its organoleptic characteristics it is a basic ingredient of Lucanian cuisine; it is the ideal condiment for pasta, vegetables, meat and fish.
The product is marketed as extra virgin olive oil Olio Lucano IGP.
The structural peculiarity of olive growing in Basilicata is the cultivation in the hills, by small companies. The majority of the olive groves are located in inland areas, in the hills and mountains, on sloping land subject to erosion.
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is a quality mark, which is assigned to agricultural or food products for which even a single phase of the production process has a link with a precise geographical area of reference which gives the product uniqueness. The PGI is a less restrictive certification than the DOP, where the production and transformation processes must be carried out in a specific geographical area. In the PGI, the criteria are extended to the regional sphere, therefore the aspects listed above can be carried out in a more extensive context and the relative controls are more quantitative than qualitative.
As with the PDO denominations, PGI producers must also comply with the strict rules contained in the specification, compliance with which is guaranteed by an independent control body.