What we do
La Vialla in the German magazine Essen&Trinken issue 8/2024
Today in the kitchen we prepare zucchini Parmigiana
The new families of Valdarnese chickens
Today we harvest basil in the vegetable patch
Ricotta, La Fragolina and almond tart
Cutting the first hay of the season
Today we do green pruning in Quattro Pietre vineyard
On the table today tagliatelle “paglia e fieno”
Today in the biodynamic vegetable patch, planting onions and cleaning strawberries
Milling flour and making bread
La Vialla named Winery of the Year Gran Vinitaly
Savoury panettone non-panettone
Presenting the new families of Valdarnese chickens
Today we prune the vines at Casa Conforto and Casa Rossa
Today Stefania prepares “Panina” bread for Easter
Today we visit the youngest calf at La Vialla’s cowshed
Tuscan kale and ricotta balls with mayonnaise
Today we prune the olive trees at La Scampata after two years
Repairing the Fattoria’s roads after the winter rain
La Vialla has received the Alpahzirkel Award for Impact & Sustainability 2024
In the barn to welcome the newborn lambs
Today cannelloni with wild boar sauce
Today we make pecorino with pepper
Panettone filled and glazed with chocolate
La Vialla wins the German Sustainability Award
Today, Stufato alla Sangiovannese with Stefania
Today we produce the new oil
The World Future Council at La Vialla
Today Tuscan "crostoni" with pecorino, Peperonata Dolce and capocollo
Today at La Vialla’s winery
The Grape Festival in La Vialla’s piazzetta
The straw “bottaia” (= barrel cellar)
Today at La Vialla lasagna with Guazzabuglio and pecorino sauce
Checking the ripeness of the grapes in La Casotta vineyard
In La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
At the Farmhouse Museum, Giancarlo’s memories of the wheat harvesting of old
Today Valdarnese Chicken with La Vialla’s Aubergine Caponata
With La Vialla’s shepherd Antonio and the sheep
Hoeing and taking care of the small, newly planted vines
Stefania prepares focaccia with cherry tomatoes
Monitoring the ripeness of the cereals with the agronomist Alceo
Summer concert 2022
Today at La Vialla’s chicken farm visiting the newly hatched chicks
Mini-Pasta Salad with Pasticcio di Olive
Today, green pruning in the Quattro Pietre and Casa Conforto vineyards
We greet the new technological roller for crushing green manure in the vineyards
Oven-baked rigatoni with asparagus and spicy salami
Spraying biodynamic preparation on the ancient cereals
45 years of La Vialla
Visiting the herd of cattle, with the first calves, at Spedale
Ricotta and artichoke ravioli with thyme-flavoured butter
Pruning the young olive trees at La Grillaia farmstead
Chocolate Easter egg filled with Viallella
Casal Duro Best of Show
Photos of the award ceremony with Antonio, Bandino, Sabina, Tommaso, Caterina, Piero and Lucio: La Vialla is Wine Family of the Year 2023
La Vialla is Wine Family of the Year 2023
Presentation Wine Family of the Year 2023
Today we inoculate the biodynamic compost heap with the preparations
Today in the kitchen, chocolate “brutti ma buoni” biscuits
Award Ceremony Mundus Vini Biofach 2023
Today Aida makes a savoury tart with ricotta, red pesto and spicy salami
An article in the blogazine Culture & Cream by journalist Margit Rüdiger about the world of La Vialla’s olive polyphenols
At Casa Conforto, pruning and renewing the vines
La Vialla in the new sustainability manifesto of Demeter International
Today at La Vialla’s sheep barn with the new-born lambs
Oven-baked emmer pasta with sausage and Tuscan kale
"2022 a La Vialla"
Aida prepares the meatloaf in a crust from the Christmas menu
Filtering the olive fruit or vegetation water for OliPhenolia
Christmas 2022, festive greetings from the “band” at La Vialla
Today, candied orange peel in chocolate
La Vialla as an actor for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030
Today at La Vialla, Erika prepares an autumn pasta recipe
Today in the olive mill at La Vialla, oil with chilli pepper
The olive harvest begins at La Vialla
Today at La Vialla baked aubergines with minced meat and Piccantissima
Mundus Vini Summer Tasting 2022
Selecting La Vialla’s autochthonous yeasts
The Grape Festival in the La Casotta vineyard
Photos of the Grape Festival 2022
Today we pick grapes in the Capannino vineyard
Today we prepare chicken salad with summer giardiniera with Balsamico Bianco
Today in La Vialla’s vegetable patch and workshop for the Sugo Bombolino
The Bee Whisperers from La Vialla, Meiningers Weinwelt Magazine cover story!
Ripening check and grapes estimate of Pinot Nero at Casa Rossa
Oven-cooked summer vegetables “all’arrabbiata”
In the Greppaccia vineyard renewing Sangiovese grapevines
Visiting the cows in the pastures high on the hillsides at Spedale farmstead
Concert in the piazzetta at La Vialla
Today omelette with wild fennel pesto and pecorino
Today in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch we harvest basil
Hoeing and taking care of the new Grillaia vineyard
Pici with Carciofini Trifolati and Pesto Rosso
In Casa Conforto vineyard shredding and digging in the green manure crops
Composting biodynamic preparation “501” or “Horn Silica”
Award ceremony at Mundus Vini Spring Tasting @Prowein, Düsseldorf (Germany), May 15th 2022
Savoury Bread Pudding with Broccoli “Trifolati” and Pecorino
Tying up the canes in the Ronco vineyard
The straw “bottaia” (= barrel cellar), phase one
For the 8th time International Wine Producer of the Year at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2022
Maremma-style ricotta and spinach tortelli with butter and sage
Cleaning up the strawberry patch and replacing vines in the vineyard
Tasting the new red wine, Casa Quaranta
Pruning both young olive trees and adult ones
For International Women’s Day, ring cake with Vin Santo
Maintenance in the vineyard
Today at La Vialla, Arezzo-style “redone” cardoons
Today we’re at Casa Rossa for the winter pruning
Today in La Vialla’s sauce kitchen we make “pappa al pomodoro”
Today at La Vialla, hare in “dolceforte” sauce, an ancient Tuscan recipe
We taste the new oils from the main varieties of olives grown by La Vialla
We take a visit to La Vialla’s sheep barn
Today at La Vialla “Torta della Nonna”
Today at La Vialla’s olive mill, extra virgin olive oil with rosemary
Today in the winery, pressing the dried grapes for Vin Santo
Today, lasagne with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes
Today for lunch at La Vialla pork in apple sauce with raisins
Choosing the red grapes for the Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice
Photos of the Grape Festival 2021
The 2021 Grape Festival
We start working on the land to be sown
Today we’re working with the CREA research institute, to reduce copper in the vineyards
On the table today, bell pepper timballo filled with Penne with Peperotta
Harvesting in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
Today we are with Carlo for a mid-August check on La Vialla’s olive groves and vineyards
Today at La Vialla, Ricciole with Parmigianina
We visit the flock of sheep in the pastures at Casa Conforto
The wheat threshing festival through the eyes of photographer Roman Raacke
The wheat threshing festival
Today for lunch at La Vialla, bread gnocchi with anchovies and cherry tomatoes
In La Casotta vineyard with new environmentally friendly equipment
In the vegetable patch at La Vialla today we transplant parsley
In La Vialla di Sotto olive grove for the pre-flowering inspection
Today we visit La Casotta vineyard for the green pruning
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares a savoury tart with pesto and ricotta
Today we visit La Vialla’s young Valdarno breed chickens
Mundus Vini Biofach 2021: Video of the award ceremony
Red carpet at the Fattoria - Mundus Vini Biofach 2021 award ceremony
Today at La Vialla, Carciofina croquettes for lunch
At Ca’ dell’Oro farmstead, renovating ancient terracing
The Chianti vineyard at Casa Conforto.
Today at La Vialla we make ricotta “gnudi” dressed with sage butter.
Today we’re making La Vialla’s typical pizza with pecorino
La Vialla's Easter eggs
Today at La Vialla’s Museum, some old farming tales from Giancarlo
“La Grillaia”, a new olive grove at La Vialla 3 years after planting
Today in La Vialla’s highest vineyard at Spedale farmstead
Today at La Vialla, Valentina’s seasonal oven baked rigatoni
Winter pruning in La Vialla’s strawberry patch
Today we’re in the olive grove at La Vialla to break up the ground
Today winter pruning in La Casotta vineyard at La Vialla
Today Erika prepares a savoury flan with Tuscan kale and new olive oil
"2020 at La Vialla"
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares Giuliana’s sweet almond focaccia
In the olive mill at La Vialla with Andrea for a quality check
In the barn at La Vialla, the first newborn of the season
At La Vialla’s olive mill, making oil with basil
In the kitchen at La Vialla, wild boar stew with Sugo Finto
Today at La Vialla, picking olives at La Scampata farmstead
Today we pick Sangiovese grapes
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles: October 1st 2020, the Viallini at the award ceremony in Rome
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares a savoury tart with peppers
Harvesting the Vernaccia di San Gimignano grapes at Castelvecchio
Today in Il Ronco vineyard we pick white Chardonnay grapes
Summer 2020 at La Vialla
Today on La Vialla’s table, Ricciole with grapes
Today in the workshop at La Vialla, “Piccantissima” sauce
In the vegetable garden at La Vialla, today we’re picking the aubergines
Today with Andrea in the olive grove at La Vialla, monitoring the trees’ health
Today at La Vialla Carmela prepares a recipe with Piccantissima sauce
Reducing copper in La Vialla’s biodynamic vineyards
Today at La Vialla we spray the “Horn Silica” biodynamic preparation
Lasagna with Basil Pesto and Pomarola
Today various tasks in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
Reducing copper in La Vialla’s biodynamic vineyards – today with CREA
Today we use innovative equipment in La Vialla’s vineyard
Today at La Vialla, aubergine “accordions”
Today we make the horn silica biodynamic preparation or 501
Today for lunch for the Viallini, homemade gnocchi
Green pruning of the new shoots
Today we check the biodynamic compost heaps
Today at La Lignana we prepare stewed lamb in red wine
Today we are at Cortona in La Vialla’s Syrah vineyard
Today we build shelters to create shade
Savoury Tart with Ribollita and Tuscan Kale Crisps
Today we plant “aglione” in La Vialla’s vegetable patch
Mundus Vini Biofach 2020: Video of the award ceremony
Mundus Vini Biofach 2020: February 13th 2020, the Viallini at the award ceremony in Nuremberg
Today in La Vialla di Sopra olive grove doing winter tasks
Today, winter pruning on the terracing at Casa Rossa
Pasta Bake with Salsa Etrusca
Today at La Vialla, preparing and spraying biodynamic preparation '500'
Today at La Vialla, maintenance of the vineyard trellising
Vertical wine tasting of Casal Duro with expert Götz Drewitz
Today La Vialla’s Carabaccia with Vino Novo
At La Vialla’s barn and dairy during the holiday season
Zuccotto with Luigina
On the farm, Fattoria... La Vialla E-I-E-I-O
Alceo evaluates the ripeness of the olives for extra virgin olive oil
In the olive mill, calibrating the temperature while making oil
Graham Candy's La Vialla Music Writing Camp 2019 by Crazy Planet Records
Autumn at La Vialla 2019
The new families of Valdarnese chickens born during the summer
Today we make cannelloni with Tuscan ragu and hazelnuts
Today we choose Sangiovese for Vin Santo “Occhio di Pernice”
Today at La Vialla, peppers filled with pasta
A 'filmino' (= little film) of the wonderful afternoon and evening in the vineyard
Photos of the Grape Festival
Today at the museum, grape roll for dessert
Last harvest in the vegetable patch for bombolino sauce without skins
Today, August 29th, we harvest grapes
Checking the olive groves
In the vegetable patch, harvesting basil for the pesto
Today Aubergine Parmigiana reinterpreted by Luigina
Celebrating the Haystack
Today Panzanella, a traditional all-in-one meal with what’s in the vegetable patch
Today in the vegetable patch we plant the last crop, the hot chilli peppers
Today we evaluate the young fruit in the vineyard and olive grove
Today we make timbale with zucchini and Rosalina
The vineyard at La Casotta, experimenting half the amount of copper
Today we plant vegetables in the field behind Casa Conforto
Green pruning at La Casotta farmstead
After six months the biodynamic preparation is dug up
Strawberry Mousse Cake
At the Museum in the Landowner’s Room
In the dairy, from curds to drying-out
Today in the vineyard at Spedale using an innovative tying method
Today spring roulades with asparagus
Today in the olive grove two types of pruning for olive trees
In the barrique cellar the barrels are filled with 2018’s wines
Award ceremony at the Grand International Wine Award @ProWein, Dusseldorf (Germany), March 17th 2019
Maintenance at Casale Farmstead
Nothing is thrown away in the kitchen - La Ribollita
At the Museum, in the grandparents bedroom
Soil assessment with the Spade test
The Viallini at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2019 Producer of the Year International and Best Sweet Wine
Mundus Vini Biofach 2019: Video of the award ceremony
Two kinds of pruning at Casa Conforto
Today Strozzapreti with Tuscan Kale Pesto
What’s on the menu today at La Lignana?
An anthem for La Vialla
10 Musicians at the Fattoria: Concert and Writing Camp October 2018
La Vialla Song & Music Writing Camp by Crazy Planet Records
A surprise for Marco, the oenologist: the 100/100 score awarded by the panel chair judge at the IWSC 2018
Hamburg Climate Week 2018-Speech by Gianni and Antonio Lo Franco
Summer 2018 at the Fattoria
Celebrations for "40 years of La Vialla" at the Fattoria
The grand table celebrating 40 years of La Vialla, 1978-2018
Spring greetings from the Fattoria
Award ceremony for "Producer of the Year 2018" at the Mundus Vini Biofach, Nuremberg
La Vialla's Christmas Menu
Recipe: La Vialla’s biscuit house made of Cantucci bricks and Stracci tiles
Video: In the bakery, Francesco prepares the Viallina Biscuit House
IWSC London 2017: Video of the award ceremony
IWSC London 2017: slide show of the award ceremony
B.A.U.M. Environmental Award 2017: video of the ceremony and laudation
B.A.U.M. Environmental Award 2017, Frankfurt
Primavera at the Fattoria
Mundus Vini Biofach 2017: The Viallini at the Award Ceremony
Small photo album 2016: Moments from a year at the Fattoria
"Slightly" out tune but from the heart ...Merry Christmas from the whole "Banda" of La Vialla
The Panettone à la Francesco
Fattoria La Vialla is "Italian Wine Producer of the Year 2016" at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, London
Official video of the IWSC awards banquet, November 16th, 2016, London
End of October: harvest and lunch with friends in the Ca' dell'Oro alive grove!
A great celebration in the vineyard at La Casotta farmstead
The Vino Nuovo and Olio Novo have arrived!
Autumn has arrived at the Fattoria
September 28th 2016: La Vialla in the Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg
In the Barrique Cellar following the Oenologist
Mundus Vini Biofach 2016: The Viallini at the Award Ceremony (video by Felicitas Umlauf)
Vin Santo: from grapes to Grand Gold at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2016
Care and maintenance of the farmsteads
Making pecorino in the dairy
Winter pruning in the vineyard
Massimo's greeting for the new-born
Final Results of the Assisted Pollination
The Vin Santo grapes are ready to be pressed
Francesco’s chocolate salami
The Olives at the Mill
Olive Tree Pollination Experiment – Phase 1 Results
Work in progress: racking in the cellar
The Viallini go grape picking
Sapa, an ancient roman recipe
A star in the sky at La Vialla Grape Festival 2015 (Video by Felicitas Umlauf)
The white grapes, from spedale to the cellar
Experiments in the olive grove, fighting the olive fruit fly with biodynamics
Update on the Biodynamic Compost Heap
A "little-big" keepsake of the concert held on July 8th 2015
A stroll and a gallop at the riding stables
The Wheat and Pizza Festival
An experiment in the olive grove
A trip to the field for haymaking
Peacocks in the’ Piazzetta’
May in the strawberry patch: harvest and happy hour with the guests
Someone rather special
Cooking in accordance with the Vegetable Garden and the Spirit
In the Barrique Cellar 6 months after the grape harvest
Preparation 500
We transplant blackberries in the Casa Conforto fruit patch
Brutti ma buoni baked in the oven
“Inoculating” the biodynamic compost heap
Getting things ready in “Piazzetta”
Pruning the olive trees at Ca' dell’Oro
Climbing the cypress trees at La Lignana
Preparing the ground for the blackberry patch
Lessons on biodynamics at La Vialla
Panettone according to Francesco
At the olive mill making the new oil
Making Viallini biscuits
In flight with the drone
The oenologist explains the winery’s new grape selecting machinery
A visit to the La Vialla’s “Piazzetta”
The Grape Festival
Francesco makes bread
Stefania prepares pesto with a mortar
Producing Sugo Bombolino in the sauce kitchen
The wheat threshing festival
Visiting the bees and extracting the honey
In the Vin Santo cellar Marco checks the caratelli barrels
“La Torre” project conference on ancient vine varieties
In the dairy making pecorino cheese with pepper
Planting basil in the vegetable patch
Making Viallella
Alceo visits to olive trees in bloom
Green pruning at Casalduro
Planting posts at Casa Conforto
Giorgio does some maintenance on a door
Michaela makes Asparagina in the sauce kitchen
Experimental vineyard treatment without copper
Green manuring
Digging up the cows’ horns
Planting at Casa Conforto is completed
Preparing the layout for Casa Confo vineyard
Francesco prepares the Easter dove-shaped cake
News from the Fattoria
Holidays at La Vialla
La Vialla and nature
Request Catalogue
Privacy Policy
Recipe archive


A source of hydroxytyrosol and other polyphenols
from the fruit water of biodynamically cultivated olives

How OliPhenolia was created

As often occurs, “our elders” were right about things that modern times had relegated to the category of curiosities or superstitions. Nonna Caterina (1902 - 2000) – grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother of the Lo Franco family – during the olive pressing season had the habit of drinking, a couple of times a day, half a glass of “acqua mora” (= dark water).

This expression is used here in Tuscany for the water contained in olives and olive leaves that, after pressing, is separated from the oil, which is lighter (this is done mechanically, by centrifugation). What’s more, “acqua mora” has a very bitter taste, so Nonna Caterina left everyone agape. But, resolute as always, she didn’t care...

Nonna Caterina with the farmers at wheat threshing time
April 1980: Piero Lo Franco and Nonna Caterina
In the photo: the “Piazzetta” at La Vialla farmstead, May 2016, the three Lo Franco brothers, Bandino, Gianni and Antonio.

In recent years the scientific community has discovered that this water is overflowing with olive polyphenols (more than the oil itself: the proportion is 1:20!), in particular hydroxytyrosol, verbascoside, 3,4-dhpea-eda and many others, which are delicate water soluble molecules.

In 2010 at the Fattoria, thanks to the support of the Famiglia Lo Franco Foundation, a project was initiated with the aim of enhancing the numerous, valuable substances contained in this olive fruit water – it was given the name “OliPhenolia®”. For olive mills this liquid, also known as “vegetation water” is usually simply seen as wastewater, but at La Vialla it has always been used as a resource: the fruit water is added to the biodynamic compost, where it matures for 6-8 months and then returns to the ground – in the form of a fertile amendment – to complete the natural cycle. But it is much more than this. Now, finally, it can also be used as a “food” once filtered and concentrated (with a simple cold-filtering process).

The path of the polyphenols

What OliPhenolia is used for and what its polyphenols do

OliPhenolia can be defined as “freshly squeezed polyphenol juice”, which is easy to use as a supplement in a well-balanced diet. As you will find out further on, one little jar of this product contains a concentrate of polyphenols: the liquid, once pressed and separated from the olive oil and pomace (a waste material), is concentrated through cold-filtering. To make a comparison, 250 mg (the average amount contained in a jar) is the quantity of polyphenols found in roughly 300 g of freshly picked olives.
Polyphenols, such as the ones in olives, constitute a family of substances of plant origin comprising over 5,000 molecules; they are produced by the secondary metabolism of plants.

How OliPhenolia is made

The climate friendly olive mill at the Fattoria

Every year, from mid-October to the beginning of December, there’s one place at the Fattoria where work never stops: the olive mill. Throughout the day (and night) the freshly picked olives arrive, to be pressed as quickly as possible, so as to preserve their flavour, aroma and... polyphenols.
After removing the majority of the leaves (but not all of them, because they also contribute to the flavour and polyphenol load) the olives are rinsed quickly and then enter the mill. Protected from oxidation thanks to the cupola filled with nitrogen (patented by Fattoria La Vialla), they are ground between granite millstones, which slowly transform them into a thick paste.

The olive harvest
Grinding olives in the mill
Olive paste
The process of crushing olives produces, on average, 14% of oil, 28% of vegetation water and, for the remaining part, pomace (woody fibres of the stones reduced to a paste)

This olive paste (a mixture of flesh, juice, stones, leaves and oil) is then centrifuged twice. The first time separates the extra virgin olive oil from the wet pomace. This wet pomace then undergoes a second, cold centrifugation, which separates the dry pomace from the water contained in the fruit (Nonna Caterina’s “acqua mora”) which is reclaimed for reuse.

OliPhenolia is extracted by filtering and concentrating this aqueous part of the olives (the olive mill waste waters or “olive fruit water”) with the use of ceramic membrane technology and reverse osmosis; solely through mechanical cold filtering, without the use of chemical solvents or heat.

This state-of-the-art method (considered a B.A.T. or Best Available Technology) was studied and elaborated with the specific intent of preserving the integrity of the delicate polyphenolic molecules, and required more than two years of research and trials by Prof. Massimo Pizzichini (ENEA) and his team, which led to a patent being filed.

The oenologist Marco Cervellera
In the photo: the olives are pressed in the new olive mill. Prof. Massimo Pizzichini (on the right) with his son, Dr Daniele Pizzichini, during an inspection. They are the farm’s ENEA consultants for extraction of the polyphenols from the vegetation water. In the background, the dome that protects the pressed olives from oxidation operating under nitrogen, patented by La Vialla ( patent no. 2620219).
In the photo: Parma, May 6th 2014 at the presentation of the OliPhenolia Project at CIBUS, XVII International Food Fair. From the left: Bandino, Gianni, Dr Antonio Bruno, Dr Daniele Pizzichini, Silvia, Dr Adriana Albini, Antonio, Prof. Massimo Pizzichini and Dr Teresa Rossi..
In the photo: March 2014, guest quarters of La Lignana farm, Dr Albini illustrates the progress of the research. From the left clockwise: Dr Adriana Albini, Dr Antonino Bruno and Dr Arianna Pagani (researchers), Antonio, Bandino, Prof. Massimo Pizzichini (ENEA), Dr Teresa Rossi (researcher), Dr Daniele Pizzichini (ENEA) and Gianni

The treatment process of the vegetation water and pomace

To obtain the polyphenol concentrate from the olive mill waste water (also called vegetation water) from the Fattoria’s organic and biodynamic olives, La Vialla uses a mechanical ceramic membrane filtering process. This process has been purposely developed according to the farm’s specific needs and requirements and after numerous tests, implemented and fine-tuned by the team working under Prof. Massimo Pizzichini, ENEA scientist responsible for numerous research contracts with Italian universities and companies operating in the agri-food sector, the author of hundreds of scientific publications in the sector and one of the foremost experts in the use of membrane technologies; a method, via the porosity of the ceramic membranes, molecules can be filtered, i.e. separated, according to their weights and dimensions.
This means that the concentrate can be obtained without the use of heat, solvents or chemical reagents; it is a clean technology defined as BAT (Best Available Technology).

The final stage

The concentrate of polyphenols represents the strength and the “heart” of OliPhenolia and contains all the substances we have described so far. However, OliPhenolia had one small drawback: the bitterness of the polyphenols gave it a rather “harsh” taste. After repeated tests with vegetable and fruit juices, and with cane sugar, the “flavour” with grape juice – 100% Sangiovese grapes, concentrated and unfiltered, a product with many qualities in its own right – was judged to be the best... however, as of this year, the “recipe” has been further improved by adding a little lemon juice (the percentages are: 45% extract, 48.5% grape juice and 6.5% lemon juice). Besides making the taste more pleasant, the grape juice – full of flavonoids and anthocyanins – integrates the properties of the extract.
The polyphenol concentrate is therefore mixed with the concentrated grape juice and the lemon juice and put into small glass jars. To preserve the contents, the little jars are pasteurised rapidly at a very low temperature (approx. 70 °C), so as to maintain the integrity of all the components.
Since 2015, to help those who have to follow a low glycaemic index diet, OliPhenolia is also made without grape juice (we have called it “OliPhenolia Bitter”), using, in its place, a little lemon juice (6%) to “soften” the bitterness of the polyphenols that, in this case, are less concentrated in order to maintain the same phenolic content as in the original version.
So that is how we created this concentrate of olive polyphenols, OliPhenolia, a dietary supplement that is unique because it is completely natural, organic and biodynamic, and that the Viallini are extremely proud of. We could say that OliPhenolia, similarly to olive oil, is freshly squeezed olive juice (with the addition of a little lemon juice and – in the sweeter version – some grape juice). It’s like comparing freshly squeezed orange juice with a “chemical” vitamin C tablet – something else entirely! In fact this phytocomplex, which besides containing hydroxytyrosol is also rich in numerous other naturally present polyphenols, has a synergic effect that is greater than that of hydroxytyrosol on its own.

Growing and processing olives

As always at La Vialla, technology only counts for a part of the product.... The rest, the essential part, is all about our work as farmers – that’s to say the olives, growing and processing them. In fact, to obtain good extra virgin olive oil and, consequently, olive fruit water that doesn’t contain harmful chemical residues (which are unfortunately common in conventional agriculture), when growing, harvesting and pressing the olives certain essential rules must be followed.

First of all, it’s essential that the land is not contaminated. The use of pesticide is forbidden, because such products would ultimately make the flesh of the olives a waste product, contaminated with chemicals. The strict organic-biodynamic methods used in the Fattoria’s olive groves are therefore imperative. Other essential factors are: early harvesting (so that the olives are less ripe but contain more polyphenols), correct storage of the olives, in small crates, during transportation; pressing carried out straight after harvesting (which is possible at the Fattoria thanks to our own – carbon neutral! – mill, built on purpose a stone’s throw from the olive groves...) and in a controlled atmosphere to reduce oxidation of the olives to a minimum.

In the photo: La Vialla's kitchen workshop, from the left Gianni, Marco, Merita and Michela during first tasting of OliPhenolia, "fresh" from the pan, fresh also because the two ingredients are combined cold.
October: picking olives

The process is simple, a closed cycle, so that the entire olive is used: the extra virgin olive oil, the olive fruit water used to make OliPhenolia and recover the valuable polyphenols, and lastly the pomace, which, after composting slowly with all the Fattoria’s other waste products, returns to the ground to bring new fertility to the soil.

A closer look at what OliPhenolia contains

Despite the use of the sophisticated technology described previously, OliPhenolia is a completely natural and seasonal product that cannot be reproduced “synthetically” in a laboratory. The specific contents of each single jar can vary in quality and quantity from year to year, from season to season. It’s precisely the natural mixture of different polyphenols that gives it unique properties, which don’t strictly depend on the concentration of the individual components. Every single pack of OliPhenolia contains information on the results of the analyses carried out, illustrating the polyphenol content.

But, in any case, let’s take a more in-depth look...
A little jar of OliPhenolia contains, on average, over 30 mg of hydroxytyrosol, one of the most studied polyphenols, which, in nature, is only found in olive fruit water, olive leaves and olive oil (in lesser quantities). It also contains verbascoside, tyrosol, chlorogenic acid, 3,4-DHPEA-EDA and other polyphenols that haven’t yet been identified, for a total of approximately 250 mg of polyphenols. To make a comparison, 250 mg (the average amount contained in a jar) is the quantity of polyphenols found in roughly 300 g of freshly picked olives. The concentration of polyphenols in a good extra virgin olive oil is approximately 250 mg per litre, while in OliPhenolia, on average, it’s over 9,000 mg per litre; this means that a single 25 ml jar of OliPhenolia contains more polyphenols than 1 litre of extra virgin olive oil!

OliPhenolia100% natural, organic and biodynamic dietary supplement – is a “unicum” that cannot be reproduced chemically, a phytocomplex created by nature in which all the components interact and synergically exert an action that is greater than their sum, as biodynamics also teaches us.

Biodynamic cosmetics - Skin and haircare products made with OliPhenolia

The use of olive oil as an organic cosmetic (before the term even existed), dates back to time immemorial. The use of olive oil for personal care and hygiene was rooted in the culture of all the ancient Mediterranean peoples, from the Greeks to the Romans; it was used as an anti-inflammatory ointment, a moisturiser, an anti-oxidant, regenerating remedy and a beauty oil.
Olive fruit water, on the contrary, is still relatively unknown even though particularly interesting for the production of organic cosmetics, because it consists of water and stable compounds that are well suited to similar products.

La Vialla’s cosmetics with OliPhenolia are unique because they are made with over 60% of certified biodynamic (Demeter) ingredients, the olives. Both their oleic and water-soluble phenolic components are used, in addition to the valuable fatty acids, tocopherols and vitamin E contained in the extra virgin olive oil. The rest is liquid obtained by filtering the olives’ fruit water, and a small percentage of other ingredients of plant origin. And it comes from a closed production cycle that is good for both the health of our skin and, at the same time, the preservation of our planet. In the dynamics of global advertising, the public’s attention is artfully centred on the active ingredients contained in the various creams – usually very small percentages of the total content – hiding in the background the actual composition of the rest of the product, which makes widespread use of petroleum derivatives (petrolatum jelly and oil, parabens, silicone, paraffin, etc.) ingredients of animal origin, even from industrial livestock farming. This is why, today, part of the scientific world and – finally – of public opinion, believes that certain types of cosmetics are unhealthy and unsustainable.

In 2015 La Vialla began to work with RSC Pharma, in Giessen, an important German pharmaceutical laboratory, partner and executive director of which is Prof. Thomas Schmidts, a client of the Fattoria. Motivated by the research and growing number of articles published on the polyphenols contained in olive mill wastewater, he managed to convince the Viallini (initially very hesitant: for them it was a field that had nothing to do with all the Fattoria’s other work) to undertake a series of studies in order to use the properties of OliPhenolia on skin in the form of totally organic, Demeter certified and natural cosmetic products meeting the most stringent biodynamic criteria.

Prof. Thomas Schmidts, in the centre, with colleagues Dr Peggy Schlupp and engineer Sören Wildenhain

The results were not long in coming: after various research and experiments (the results of these studies were published in the scientific journal “Cosmetics” www.mdpi.com) La Vialla surrendered ….after all the skin, the largest organ of our body, needs good “nourishment” – its health bears witness to the wellbeing of the entire body.