Thursday, 13 November 2008

A wonderful summer brings a bumper olive harvest

It has been a simply glorious summer and autumn here in the hills outside Todi. August temperatures climbed into the mid-30's but every evening,as regular as clockwork,a gentle breeze sprang up from the west that drove away the humidity and kept the nights comfortable. This protracted run of dry,mild weather lasted until the beginning of November and has enabled the trees to set with the most wonderful heavy crop of large oil rich olives. After recording miserable crops over the last three years it looks as if the 2008 vintage will be olive oils equivalent of the 2005 Bordeaux.

As always happens, the onset of the first rains over the weekend caught us by surprise and had us running around madly trying to get in the olive harvest. In between downpours we collected two hundredweight from the trees in the courtyard on Monday morning and were delighted to get the frantoia to cold press them same day .The colour is a clean zestful green and the taste a delight with slight hints of pepper. Commercially,this years yield of 15% by weight handsomely beats the mean of 12% we've achieved so far. The final tally will be known later today - the groves on the hill have taken four days of constant picking by the local farmer and his team and should be finished today if the storms sweeping down from Milan hold off.

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