OSTUNI TASTING OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Our first tip for our guests, who are staying in the Itria Valley near Ostuni is to book one of our foodie tours and visit a historic farmhouse in Puglia, located in a stunning area of olive groves that is near the provincial road between Ostuni and Rosa Marina. Many of the olive trees on this grove and in the surrounding groves of the area are up to a thousand years old. They are protected and it is forbidden to fell those very old trees. The masseria is situated within easy reach of local towns and the coast.
The farmhouse also offers guided tours of the olive groves and the traditional farming equipment that has been preserved in a small museum on the site. The first dwellings on the site date from the eleventh century, and the underground olive mill is even older. Olive oil has been produced here for almost a thousand years and during the guided visit you can learn more about the growing techniques that have been used here for centuries.
Guests will visit the Masseria. The building dates back to medieval times and it has an underground portion, which was once used as an olive mill. Guests can really feel what it must have been like to make olive oil in Puglia for centuries. There is a museum that is part of the site. It shares all of the tools of the olive mill. So visitors get a good impression of the changes in the technique of olive oil production over the years.
The best part of the this tour is the tasting of high quality extra virgin olive oil, a special treat to learn about the various kinds of olive oils and taste their differences.
TASTING OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL NEAR CISTERNINO
If you are staying in the Itria valley and would like to combine a visit of Cisternino with an extra virgin olive oil tasting, we recommend to visit a producer cultivating twenty-five varieties of olives, including the most commonly used in Puglia. There are also two varieties of wild olive trees on the estate. Those are harvested to be used in special blends of oil. All of the olives are picked by hand, from October to December. This is how the finest quality is ensured. After the olives have been picked, all processing has to be done within twelve hours. Delays can result in a bitter taste. Molds on the olives will also spoil the olive oil. Unlike many olive oil producers, here only olives grown on the estate are processed to ensure that tree to press time is always minimal and quality always unquestionable. The majority of the trees pre-date the oil business and are between 100 and 200 years old, though there’s one ancient tree that has been around for over 1,100 years. This is the land of olives. The estate is in part organic and is gradually moving to an entirely organic system of cultivation.
OLIVE OIL TASTING IN SQUINZANO
If you are staying on the peninsula Salento, for example in Otranto, we can organize a tour including a wine tasting at Squinzano. You will find out more about Puglia’s delicious, high quality olive oil. The farm and their olive grove as well as their mill are very close to the towns of Squinzano and Trepuzzi. This is a good place to learn the steps to properly taste olive oil. Together you will discover that there is a special technique to sample the oil, in order to savor the aroma and taste each oil’s unique flavors.
Three olive oils will be tasted and you will be told some interesting facts about the flavors of olive oil. The flavors are determined by a variety of factors, including the type of olives, ripeness at harvest, growing conditions (climate, soil type), the cultivation of the crop and the handling of the fruit from tree to mill. For example, oil made from predominantly unripe (green) olives contain flavors described as grassy or contain traces of artichoke and tomato scents, while the riper olives tend to render softer flavors, often described as buttery, floral or tropical. Afterwards we suggest to plan another highlight (to be reconfirmed): A tasting of Crostini, olives, olive bread and cold pasta with olive oil and Mediterranean herbs and wine. On request the presentations of the local delicacies will be in English. It will be a unique experience during which you will get to know the local producers, because it is them, who will present their products.