Olive blend: 50% Morellino, 20% Frantoio, 20% Leccino, 10% Raggia
The 2021 season, on the Fattoria’s hillsides, was characterised by normal winter weather (although in recent years “normal” often needs to be redefined). In the spring, after a warm month of March, a “frescata” (= chill – more like frost!) on April 8th put the Viallini on guard. But the olive trees, still in the state of winter dormancy, weren’t affected (unlike the grapevines, which had some problems, as we’ll see later on). April, May and early June were cool and rainy until, in a matter of days, the temperature rose above 30 °C and the heat made its presence felt for 2 long months, with the exception of a couple of thunderstorms accompanied by some, very welcome, rainfall!
The “Olio Novo” 2021
A good harvest, even though below-average (in terms of quantity), warmed the olive pickers’ souls. This, combined with their character and training, made it possible to harvest for 8 hours high up on the hills, even in December when the wind was freezing. Although with many different nuances from one olive grove to another, one tree to another, this season’s oil is intense, pungent, when freshly pressed, slightly “ignorante” (= strong and unrefined) as we say in Tuscany. Straight after pressing, aromas and flavours caress the nose and palate with the numerous essences of its “dowry”, a virgin meadow at the edge of a wood; they recall calamint, radicchio, wild artichoke leaves, and vegetables, radish, fennel, tomato leaves and, to finish off, green almond husks.
“Con olio e sale si fa buono anche uno stivale” (= with oil and salt even a boot tastes good): this saying from our area says a lot about how much the precious green liquid is appreciated. Olive oil is ever-present in Tuscan recipes: raw, in salads, for “pinzimonio”, cooked vegetables, all types of legumes, on pasta, rice, couscous… and also for cooking, in kitchens far and wide!