At the end of the harvest the olives are taken to be pressed.
Some presses use traditional means, others the latest technology: we only recomment visiting the best Olives have been cultivated on Monte Amiata since the ninth century and were probably introduced by the Benedictine monks from the Abbey at Abbadia San Salvatore. This long history helped in the cultivation of the indigenous Olivastra Seggianese which is the only variety that can live and thrive at great heights, in some cases up to 700 metres above sea level. Oil obtained from these olives is very light and goes particularly well with fish or any other dish where it is important to bring out the taste of the ingredients. Oil is obviously an extremely important element of our cooking.It is used in all types of dishes, and the mountain dwellers love to have it “raw” and to use it to preservemushrooms.The ‘bruschetta’ is famous, and has a particular flavour when prepared with traditional salt less Tuscan bread.There are important festivals connected with olive oil. These begin with the new harvest, and thus the new year’s production somewhere between the end of November and the beginning of December.Seggiano, known as the ‘city of oil’ celebrates the harvest on December 26th with a party at the Castello di Potentino where local producers of specialities offer their produce to music and singing by various folk groups from all over Italy, led by the Cardellini del Fontanino di Castel del Piano.
Enolea is an olive press in Seggiano.It has only recently been built, closely following the philosophical dictates of Luigi Veronelli, and produces high quality oil, and also an oil made from olives that have been stoned before pressing. Roberto personally oversees all the production and can introduce you to the world of olive oil, in which he is certainly a great expert.You will never forgeta tasting in his company.In the shop there is a wide range of oils made from a single kind of locally grown olives, and also oils from other prestigious Italian estates.
In the old centre of Arcidosso is the Camarri Frantoio.Mirco and Carla run the press, which, unlike almost all others, uses the traditional huge, heavy stone millwheels.Their best products are ‘Gocce dei Lunai’, made exclusively from olives from the Olivastra Seggianese, and ‘Armonia’, which uses a blend of olives from different kinds of local trees, as well as a special oil pressed with lemons.Watching this press at work is like stepping back in time.
Podere Bugnanese.Daniela Nicoletti, who came originally from Bologna, has been running this estate for several years and produces a really excellent olive oil. The farmhouse on a little hill is typically Tuscan and has a breathtaking view - with Amiata and the village of Seggiano on one side and the Val D’Orcia on the other. All the most important kinds of olives grown locally are found here, but the Olivastra Senese, the indigenous variety, predominates.