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Capezzana Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Carmignano, Tuscany

Capezzana

The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Conti Contini Bonacossi family...

The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate, with son Filippo Contini Bonacossi in charge of oil making. Olive oil has been made at Capezzana since Etruscan and Roman times. The first recorded oil is mentioned in a contract dating back to 804 AD, written at the time of Charlemagne, which details both Capezzana's 'vineyards and olive groves'. The diaries of the 14th century merchant Datini have been a great source of historical information. These show that as early as 1300, the oil produced near Florence, from Carmignano to Chianti, Rufina and Calenzano, was considered by far the best, commanding high prices in both London and Bruges.

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Olive groves

Olive trees in this area, close to the most northern frontier of olive cultivation, produce less than one tenth of the quantity produced by those in milder, more southerly climes. This oil is made primarily from Moraiolo. This is an early ripening variety, so the olives tend to be blacker when picked resulting in softer, fruitier oils. The estate has 140 hectares of olive groves with 26,000 trees.

Harvest information

The blend in the 2015 vintage is 50% Frantoio, 20% Pendolino, 20% Moraiolo and 10% Leccino. The poor weather during the flowering of Moraiolo has transformed this from an oil that is predominantly Moraiolo, and therefore softer and rounder, to one that is made primarily from Frantoio. As a result, it is fresh, sinewy and vibrant with lovely delicacy and the trademark spice on the finish. Volumes, however, are down by 50% on an average year.

Production

Capezzana has recently improved its technique for olive oil production to obtain a fruitier oil with lower levels of oleic acid. In Extra Virgin olive oil, the level of oleic acid must not exceed 0.8% (Capezzana's rarely reaches 0.2%). This is achieved by picking early and processing the olives within 12 hours. Ultra modern, stainless steel continuous presses are used. Most experts agree that this method of pressing results in fresher, cleaner oils that retain their colour and fruitiness for a longer period of time as oxidation has been prevented. The oil is then settled in a mixture of terracotta 'orci' (urns) and stainless steel vats before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Vivid bright green in colour, and unfiltered. Perfect for drizzling over freshly baked bread and for dressing salads.

Vintage information

Vintage 2015
Olive varieties 50% Frantoio
20% Moraiolo
20% Pendolino
10% Leccino
Region Carmignano, Tuscany