October is finally here! It’s time for olives and for oil!
People have already started asking me “when are you going to start harvesting the olives” and “is it true that if you pick them early you’ll get less but better quality” and vice-versa.
The truth is that, even though we follow some rules, there are many variables. One is the harvest period, which is usually between the second half of October and the end of November. Yet, agronomists start studying the olive trees from the first week of October to see exactly at what stage they are. Sometimes they tell me that we are a month away from the optimal ripeness (technological ripeness). Other time they tell me to get ready straight away. Many factors can influence the time needed for an olive to ripen, mostly related to the climate over the year before the harvest. Careful analysis has to take into consideration rainy periods, arid periods, humidity and the duration of each.
Each cultivar has its own story. While logistically more complicated, it is best to harvest different olive trees at different times. This is not a common method, given its difficulty, but it is worth it. Over time, you can see great results first with excellent monocultivars and followed by well-calibrated, blended oils. You can tell the difference from an oil mixed at random, without following any specific criteria.
Like every year, I SERGENTI took an early test with the ripest olives to analyse its quality and test out the pressing plant. We did this on 24th October and we had a clear answer: wait one week before you start the proper harvest.
In fact, the oil was good without defects. An oil that many would dream of having. But to become an I SERGENTI oil it can’t just be a good oil without defects. It needs to be excellent!