—Wine producers usually see the production of olive oil as a problem and not as an opportunity. Here at Dievole, it is the first time I see a long-term ambitious project, says Stefano Capurso, General Manager of Dievole.
Dievole is a farm located in the southern part of Chianti Classico in a landscape that is breathlessly beautiful. The farm dates back to the year thousand but was purchased in 2013 by Argentinean petrol tycoon Alejandro Pedro Bulgheroni, which also has estates in Montalcino, Argentina and Uruguay.
One of the many interesting projects since Dievole’s ownership changed regards high-quality olive oil. In total, Dievole produces 100,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil. At the time of the olive harvest in early November, three of the farm’s olive oils were presented to a few invited journalists:
- DOP Chianti Classico Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva
Olives from their own olive trees growing in the Chianti Classico region. A classic Tuscan olive oil with grassy aromas, peppery flavour, a slight bitterness, it leaves no feeling of fat in the mouth. A favourite!
- 100% Italiano Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva
An extra virgin olive oil made from olives from southern Italy, including the nocellara and coratina varieties. Aromas of tomato and intense flavour of almond, fatter than the Tuscan olive oil and slightly peppery. Long finish with almonds.
- 100% Coratina Monocultivar Olio Extravergine di Olio di Oliva
An extra virgin olive oil that is made of only one olive variety, called coratina. Also here there is a lot of almonds in both taste and aroma. Round, full taste. This extra virgin olive oil won the prestigious prize Il Magnifico in 2016 where 215 olive oils from all over the world participated.
—Exactly in the same way as you have different wines for different kinds of food, different oils fit different dishes, says Matteo Giusti, who is in charge of the olive oil production at Dievole.
He also tells us that 2017 was a difficult year because of the extreme heat and drought, just like for the wine production. In Chianti Classico, the production will be 30 percent less than normal, while around Siena they have lost up to seventy percent. The harvest was, contrary to what one might think, later than usual. The olives were very small because of the drought so producers tended to wait for the first autumn rain so that they would soak up water and be more easy to work with. “The flavours will be very intense this year, considering that the olives are so concentrated,” Matteo continues.
—It is important to let people know how we work, how careful we are throughout the production, says Matteo.
On the question of how to communicate the difference between a high-quality olive oil and one of lower quality, Stefano Capurso tells us that it is a slow long-term task.
—We must tell our story and explain, it will take a long time. It is a very different marketing strategy compared to the one for wine sales, he says.
—Japan is always forward thinking, they have a great curiosity and knowledge of quality products. We have always sold well both on the American west and east coast. I was very surprised that the interest from the more rural parts of the United States is so great, says Francesco Marcocci, Sales Manager at Dievole for olive oil.
With all the problems, not to say scandals, that have hit the world of olive oil in the past years it is great to see that a large producer such as Dievole makes the effort to educate consumers and produce high-quality olive oil. In the end, it seems like Mr Bulgheroni has a certain feeling for how to deal with oil of no matter which kind of oil it is.
For more info and for online sales: www.dievole.it
The olive oils cost about 12.50 euros for 500ml.
Åsa Johansson is BKWine’s person in Italy. She lives in Florence since the early ’00s. Asa writes regularly on wine and food in Swedish and Italian publications as well as online.
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