Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
D.O.P. Monti Iblei
The farm is situated at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level. Tonda Iblea variety accounts for 65% of the cultivated surface, while the remaining 35% consists of the cultivars Siracusana (Zaituna), Biancolilla, Nocellara (Etnea and from Belice) and Oglialora (Verdesa).
The organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil D.O.P. CAVASECCA is obtained solely from olives grown on the estate, in full compliance with methods provided by the organic farming system, the Protected Designation of Origin and the Typical Geographical Indication .
The Protected Designation of Origin guarantees the validity of the declared origin, of production rules observation and of the nutritional and organoleptic qualities.
D.O.P. is not simply an acronym, it is a VALUE.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
HARVEST AND TRANSPORT
The olive harvest begins in October. The technique used is called “Brucatura”, which consists of manual detachment of the fruits from the trees. Olives are transported to the olive oil mill using perforated plastic cases within 12 hours since the harvest in order to ensure their natural freshness.
Once in the olive oil mill, the olives are washed with clean water in order to remove residual leaves and other impurities.
The olives are crashed by steel hammers inside special containers. This phase produces an homogeneous mixture whose temperature is kept under control, since an overheating may damage the quality of the extracted oil.
The malaxation is the action of slowly churning or mixing the homogeneous olives mixture. The churning allows the smaller droplets of oil released by the milling process to aggregate and be more easily separated. In order to obtain an high quality product, a low temperature is needed during the malaxation phase – from here comes the expression “Cold Extracted”.
The olives mixture undergoes a centrifugation through a two-phase decanter. Centrifugation, for the diversity of specific weights, discards the residue and separates the vegetation water from the oil.
The oil is stored in stainless steel oxygen-free tanks. A modern nitrogen system enables to better preserve the oil quality, delaying the oxidation process caused by oxygen.
The last phase of the olive oil production process is the bottling and packaging. First the Extra Virgin Olive Oil P.D.O. Monti Iblei is tested for chemical and organoleptic analysis as provided for by law. Then the bottles are filled with our olive oils, encapsulated and finally labeled.
The ancient and fertile Contrada CAVASECCA is located at the beginning of Iblei mountains, delimiting the Siracusa countryside. Inhabited since Neolithic times, during the Greek Age it was a forced passage between Syracuse and the sub-colonies of Akrai (now Palazzolo Acreide) and Kasmenai (now Monte Casale).
The location, the richness of the soil, the proximity to the UNESCO protected sites of Siracusa and Pantalica Necropolis, the valley of Noto with its Baroque architecture, make this a land where thousands of years of history are seasoned by the olive’s cultivation.
Carrying on a family tradition that prizes land, culture and art, in the 90s Antonio and Lucia Ficara bought Tenuta CAVASECCA: an inestimable arboreal heritage of 50 hectares. With their four children – Paolo, Silvia, Dario and Francesco – they start a business based on the ancient canons of beauty peasant and oriented to quality, creativity and style. The love for this type of cultivation and the desire to produce a P.D.O. organic olive oil, led the family
to integrate the centuries old existing Siracusana, Nocellara, Biancolilla and Oglialora (Verdesa) trees, with thousands of Tonda Iblea trees.
Nowadays Dario, after his brilliant economics studies at Bocconi University in Milan and several professional experiences abroad, took the reins of the company with the same energy and passion of his parents.
Olive oil education is extremely important. It’s not unreasonable to say that the ability to recognize a good olive oil is a necessary, fundamental condition for good health.
Everything begins with a walk through our oliveyard, to discover the freshness of younger trees and the majesty of the old ones.
Once you arrive at the block, you will access the temple where the oil rests and where stories about harvesting, milling, and storage will be told. Then, in the ancient hall where animals used to be fed from hand-carved stone troughs, finally the tasting: an explosion of smells and tastes.
This is how our guests are introduced to the world of extra virgin olive oil; it’s like an initiation, a baptism!
Finally, a family lunch: produce from the garden cooked according to tradition and served with good oil, good wine, and warm smiles.
Whatever your job is, put your work outfit aside and throw on an apron. It’s time to go back to school!
Knowledge must be passed on, and that’s why we organize cooking classes at our Tenuta to reveal the secrets of some of the most traditional Sicilian recipes.
Then, after the class, take the apron off and sit down at the table!
It’s time to enjoy the dishes you prepared.
Imagine a faithfully restored mid-18th century estate: small country roads, dry stone walls, prickly pear plants, oliveyards, palm groves, fruit trees, wheat fields and red poppies.
Let’s go the extra mile: imagine the setting sun slowly fading away behind the mountains.
Now, visualize yourself walking among large tables in an extensive white stone baglio. All your loved ones are raising their glasses and you all are enjoying good food and laughing heartily.
Then, after the dinner, the party: dancing until late at night, barefoot, under the olive trees and beneath the stars.