Olive oil is a family business in Tuscany. As you may know, I love extra virgin olive oil toomuch. My nonno used to make it and for me and my family producing olive oil was really important. Now that my grandpa is too old to make it, I’ve started to search for local producers that cares about quality and tradition. I was happy to visit Pruneti in the Chianti area to see how they work.
Olive oil is a family business in Tuscany
Tuscany is primary a farming land. Most of our traditions come from the strong relationship with the land, its fruits and products. So olive oil makes no exception and it’s actually one of the most important ingredients in our cuisine. It’s the base for a good and healthy merenda, as well as the perfect companion for a genuine salad or some crispy potatoes.
Respecting this traditional relationship Pruneti brothers, Gionni and Paolo, started their business in olive oil production about 20 years ago. Pruneti family has been a classical farming family since the late Renaissance. Main business was, and is, the cultivation of iris, together with wine and saffron in San Polo in Chianti, about 25 km from Florence.
Nowadays Pruneti is one of the best and the most awarded producers of extra virgin olive oil. Both Gionni and Paolo, who are between 30 and 40 years old, define themselves as olive oil artisans and work hard in the company to produce the best product ever. Because there are only two ways to produce olive oil: according to quality and/or according to quantity. They of course chose the first option of excellence, having also another important mission, i.e. teach you how to identify the good quality of extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil: best practices
The extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive and delicious olive oils you can find. First step to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil are olives: selected cultivar, good sun exposition and organic treatments are the fundamentals to have an excellent raw material. Right timing in olive harvest and in processing the fruits make the rest, together with a forceful know-how.
Gionni and Paolo know all of this and are personally involved in every single procedure. From harvest to bottling you can spot them here and there, testing, tasting and adjusting the procedures to make olive oil. So during harvest they work 24/7 to achieve the quality they have in their mind.
I should admit that extra virgin olive oil is extremely underestimated, because it’s not valued as much as wine for example. I don’t know when it happened in our culture, because I remember very well the love of my nonno for his olive groves and the self-produced olive oil and how much I miss it.
What Pruneti brothers are doing is actually more than making an excellent extra virgin olive oil. In their farm they try to teach the culture of olive oil, by organizing classes and tastings focused only on olive oil.
Visit the olive oil mill – once in your life visit the place where olive oil’s magic starts!
One food one olive oil – extra virgin are not all the same. As you do for wine pair your extra virgin olive oil with the right food!
Learn to taste it – as you wish to learn how to taste wine, learn to taste extra virgin olive oil!
Pruneti farm is located in San Polo in Chianti. You can book a guided tour and a tasting class, as well as buy extra virgin olive oil directly from them and have a better price. It’s located close to Greve in Chianti so you can visit the farm on the same day. For more information I suggest you visit the official website.