What we do
Ricotta, La Fragolina and almond tart
La Vialla named Winery of the Year Gran Vinitaly
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
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
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles: October 1st 2020, the Viallini at the award ceremony in Rome
Today we pick Sangiovese grapes
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 build shelters to create shade
Today we are at Cortona in La Vialla’s Syrah vineyard
Savoury Tart with Ribollita and Tuscan Kale Crisps
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 we plant “aglione” in La Vialla’s vegetable patch
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
La Vialla Song & Music Writing Camp by Crazy Planet Records
10 Musicians at the Fattoria: Concert and Writing Camp October 2018
An anthem for La Vialla
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
Award ceremony at the Grand International Wine Award @ProWein, Dusseldorf (Germany), March 17th 2019
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
Maintenance at Casale Farmstead
Nothing is thrown away in the kitchen - La Ribollita
At the Museum, in the grandparents bedroom
Mundus Vini Biofach 2019: Video of the award ceremony
The Viallini at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2019 Producer of the Year International and Best Sweet Wine
Soil assessment with the Spade test
Two kinds of pruning at Casa Conforto
Today Strozzapreti with Tuscan Kale Pesto
What’s on the menu today at La Lignana?
Hamburg Climate Week 2018-Speech by Gianni and Antonio Lo Franco
Summer 2018 at the Fattoria
A surprise for Marco, the oenologist: the 100/100 score awarded by the panel chair judge at the IWSC 2018
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
The Vino Nuovo and Olio Novo have arrived!
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: slide show of the award ceremony
IWSC London 2017: Video 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
Autumn has arrived at the Fattoria
Francesco prepares the Easter dove-shaped cake
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
A great celebration in the vineyard at La Casotta farmstead
End of October: harvest and lunch with friends in the Ca' dell'Oro alive grove!
September 28th 2016: La Vialla in the Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg
May in the strawberry patch: harvest and happy hour with the guests
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
Francesco's chocolate salami
A star in the sky at La Vialla Grape Festival 2015 (Video by Felicitas Umlauf)
A "little-big" keepsake of the concert held on July 8th 2015
In the Barrique Cellar following the Oenologist
Care and maintenance of the farmsteads
Winter tasks in the olive grove
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 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’
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
News from the Fattoria
Holidays at La Vialla
La Vialla and nature
Request Catalogue
Privacy Policy
Recipe archive

Extra virgin olive oil in Tuscany and at Fattoria La Vialla

Lunch in Ca’ dell’Oro olive grove
Lunch in Ca’ dell’Oro olive grove

Dear friends, scroll down for the price list with details of each product. Below it you will find information on Fattoria La Vialla’s organic-biodynamic production methods.

Lunch in Ca’ dell’Oro olive grove
Lunch in Ca’ dell’Oro olive grove

Extra virgin olive oil in Tuscany and at Fattoria La Vialla

In ancient times the olive was the sacred tree of Athena, the goddess of knowledge and the arts. And it has remained “sacred” through the centuries, for generations of farmers and for the Viallini today.
The mild e predominantly dry climate, the slopes and hillside terraces shaped by man over the centuries, the well-draining texture of the “galestro” soil, the selection of varieties chosen for their intensity and aroma, experience and innovative techniques, these are the characteristics that distinguish high quality olive growing in Tuscany. The strip of hillsides – between 300 and 600 m.a.s.l. – facing “a solatio” (= towards the south) to the right of the river Arno, from Arezzo to Reggello and then Fiesole (Florence), is a particularly suitable area, as is testified by the presence of olive trees since Etruscan times. The majority of the approximately three thousand olive trees that Fattoria La Vialla cultivates today, using organic and biodynamic methods, are found here.

Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'La Vialla'
Sold OutBox with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
16,05 x 6= €96,30
16.05 x 6= € 96,30
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'La Vialla'
(Maximum order quantity: 1)Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
16,65 x 2= €33,30
16.65 x 2= € 33,30
Box with 1 bottle of 0.50 l
14,25 x 1= €14,25
14.25 x 1= € 14,25
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
La Vialla 'Leggero'
Sold OutBox with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
15,85 x 6= €95,10
15.85 x 6= € 95,10
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
La Vialla 'Leggero'
(Maximum order quantity: 1)Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
16,45 x 2= €32,90
16.45 x 2= € 32,90
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'La Malva'
Sold OutBox with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
13,40 x 6= €80,40
13.40 x 6= € 80,40
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'La Malva'
(Maximum order quantity: 1)Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
14,00 x 2= €28,00
14.00 x 2= € 28,00
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'l' Etruscòlo'
Sold OutBox with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
15,10 x 6= €90,60
15.10 x 6= € 90,60
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'l' Etruscòlo'
(Maximum order quantity: 1)Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
15,60 x 2= €31,20
15.60 x 2= € 31,20
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'la Murice'
Sold OutBox with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 6 bottles of 0.75 l
12,70 x 6= €76,20
12.70 x 6= € 76,20
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2023
'la Murice'
(Maximum order quantity: 1)Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
Box with 2 bottles of 0.75 l
13,30 x 2= €26,60
13.30 x 2= € 26,60
Box with 3 bottles of 0.20 l
8,15 x 3= €24,45
8.15 x 3= € 24,45
Upper Arno valley, between Arezzo and Reggello
Upper Arno valley, between Arezzo and Reggello

Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, among the most appreciated in Italy and worldwide, has been one of the focal points of food economy in Tuscany throughout the ages. Olive growing is very widespread, considering the roughly 93,000 hectares used for this purpose, 90% of which in hilly areas or low mountain slopes in the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo e Grosseto. In 1716, a decree issued by Grand Duke Cosimo III de’Medici established the production area boundaries, acknowledging the superior quality and distinction of olive and wine production and becoming the precursor of the typical denominations of origin.

The Lo Franco Family during the harvest
The Lo Franco Family during the harvest

The 6 different varieties of olives that La Vialla grows in the province of Arezzo (and new olive groves elsewhere) are used to produce several types of extra virgin olive oil. The Tuscan one, “Olio Vialla”, has the most fruity and intense flavour. The “La Malva”, on the other hand, has a softer, rounder taste. (Two other oils, “l’Etruscòlo” and “la Murice”, are produced by farming friends who have “converted” to organic and biodynamic agriculture in collaboration with La Vialla and its Foundation.) Olive oil is a fundamental ingredient in the life of Fattoria La Vialla; it’s literally everywhere, as we will see later in “Extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen”. Descriptions of Fattoria La Vialla’s olive oils can be found on the individual product pages.

Freshly picked olives
Freshly picked olives

The definition of extra virgin olive oil

The definition of extra virgin olive oil, which many are unfamiliar with but is useful for non-experts in order to distinguish it from inferior categories (virgin, “lampante”), and also from other oils not from olives, is regulated by the European Union with Regulation no. 136/66/EEC, and Regulation no. EEC 2568/91. Extra virgin olive oil must be obtained through cold extraction and using solely mechanical methods. The acidity of extra virgin oil must never exceed 0.8%. When tasted, the fruitiness must be clearly recognisable as belonging to the fruit it comes from and, more generally, it must have a “green” sensation. It must not have sensory defects, such as rancid, fusty or winey. To produce one litre of extra virgin olive oil between 5 and 7 kg of fresh olives are required; the quantity varies according to the variety and how ripe they are.

Tuscan bread and freshly pressed oil
Tuscan bread and freshly pressed oil

Olive growing at La Vialla – terroir, varieties, soil and biodiversity

At Fattoria La Vialla the extra virgin olive oil comes from trees that grow in ground located between 300 and 650 m.a.s.l., composed of Galestro, sandstone and clay, with Alberese limestone and sand, materials that are easily eroded, diversified and with various geological fronts. The organic and biodynamic cultivation of olive trees is inserted in a favourable context, on well-lit hillsides with excellent ventilation and natural drainage of rainwater, a temperate climate with a good difference in day and night-time temperatures. The alternation of woodland, cultivated fields, watercourses and hills forms the backdrop for a Renaissance landscape, cared for and shaped preserving biodiversity, using skilful methods and continuously improving the soil’s fertility, thanks to a closed, circular production cycle that reuses waste and the manure produced by the animals. The typical taste and goodness of olive oil from the Chianti area are, in part, given by the combined contribution of an age-old, skilful mix of olives, amongst which the main varieties used are: Morellino, Frantoio, Leccino and Raggiaio (or Correggiolo) – all native to Tuscany, and the most widespread and suitable for the climate.

October, picking olives by hand
October, picking olives by hand
The four varieties of olives
The four varieties of olives

Morellino: dark coloured, they are the “basis” of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, rather like Sangiovese grapes are for Chianti. The fruits are small, with a high yield of oil and excellent aromatic characteristics and phenolic intensity (bitterness).
Leccino: small fruits and excellent oil yield, they are known for their capacity to resist all kinds of adverse weather conditions. They also a fairly early variety, already reaching full ripeness in early November.
Frantoio: they have a characteristic, mixed colour, half green and half dark brown, and have spread almost everywhere thanks to their particularly fine aromatic qualities. They ripen later than the Leccino olives, between mid and late November.
Raggiaio (or Correggiolo): pale green in colour, they have a high yield of oil which is full-bodied and particularly aromatic.

Organic and biodynamic olive growing

The organic and biodynamic agricultural methods, endorsed and implemented by the Fattoria since 1983 (La Vialla was among the first farms in Italy to become a member of the AIAB, Association of Italian Organic Agriculture, nowadays the ICEA), forbid the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and promote soil fertility through crop rotation, periodic rest periods for the land, and the choice of selected plants and seeds. The aim of biodynamic olive growing is to improve soil quality, increasing the organic matter in the ground year after year, in particular the quantity of humus, the more stable, useful, colloidal part of the soil. Underground life in the soil must also be increased and diversified.

Donato Ciofini and the horn manure
Donato Ciofini and the horn manure

Biodynamics, based on the idea that the soil itself is a living organism made up of billions of precious microorganisms, foresees the use of mature compost and biodynamic preparations, all made with natural substances. It’s very similar to the good, meticulous agriculture of our forefathers. They used any possible natural remedy and resource to increase the fertility of the soil and health of the plants; the forerunner of biodynamic olive growing, which deserves credit for having safeguarded healthy fruits, without chemicals and waste, for thousands of years. Biodynamic olive oil, thanks to good cultivation and equally good production processes, stands out for its intense flavour, for the absence of chemical residues, for its vitality and its nutritional content. Biodynamic olive oil can have Demeter certification.

Sunflowers used as green manure in olive groves
Sunflowers used as green manure in olive groves

At the mill – from olives to oil

La Vialla’s extra virgin olive oil – an entirely natural product, cold pressed without the use of additives – is made from olives that are certified organic and biodynamic or, a small amount of them, from new olive groves that are undergoing conversion. In Tuscany olive harvest time is between November and December. In the past they used to wait as long as possible, in order to get the highest oil yield, seeing that milling was paid per kilo of olives. Today, paying great attention to quality, we begin picking as early as mid-October, choosing the earliest olive cultivars and then continuing with the others, in order. It’s a meticulous process, to use a metaphor “tailor made”, from selecting the olives, to tasting, to blending the various batches.

The climate neutral olive mill
The climate neutral olive mill (click on the photo for details)
2013, the inauguration of the new mill
2013, the inauguration of the new mill

The olives, once picked, are first of all rinsed with a jet of water and then ground by the natural stone millstones, in a state-of-the-art mill that combines the knowledge of days gone by and future progress – thanks to the exceptional Carbon Free certification (with the highest classification, A+) obtained by La Vialla’s “new” mill, which was completed and inaugurated in 2013. The olives are milled using traditional natural millstones, inserted in a unique context: they’re enclosed in an airtight transparent dome filled with nitrogen (patented by La Vialla), which makes it possible to protect the extra virgin olive oil from oxidation.

Salvatore tips olives between the millstones
Salvatore tips olives between the millstones
Grinding in a protected atmosphere
Grinding in a protected atmosphere

This system gives two advantages: by using millstones the “juice” is not extracted from the olives by squashing them, but thanks to the action of the fragments of olive stones as they rub against the olive pulp. The role of the millstones is therefore that of breaking up the olive stones into pieces that are the right size, and mixing the resulting paste by turning slowly, for an overall time of 20 minutes, to then move on – still in a protected environment – to the malaxer, where it is mixed in order to facilitate aggregation of the drops of oil.

This is where the person in charge of La Vialla’s olive mill seeks the best balance between mixing time and the right temperature, according to the type and ripeness of the olives. In fact, the delicate natural action of lipoxygenases, which allows formation of the final aromas in the oil, is influenced by numerous external factors (quantity of water, temperature, external humidity, ripeness of the olives, content of polyphenols and fatty acids). And it’s up to the olive mill worker’s ability – rather like the oenologist in the winery – to find the best compromise between the various settings, adjusting the timing and temperature (which always remains below 27 °C). Finally, by means of cold centrifugation, the shiny, green liquid is separated from the olive paste (now called “pomace”) and the water contained in the olives.

"Olio Novo" (= new oil)
"Olio Novo" (= new oil)

This is followed by a series of steps that are also important to preserve the characteristic of the oil, even though they may seem less so. From above the oil descends into the jars below, purely thanks to the force of gravity. Each batch is tasted and blended with others according to criteria of equilibrium and harmony. The oil then rests in stainless steel containers at a low temperature, 14-16 °C. It is put into glass bottles, when required, and stored in the dark (the bottles should be kept in the dark at home as well, in a cool dry place, until they’re used!).

None of the by-products get thrown away. As in the Fattoria’s other production processes, a closed cycle is used for the olive oil – so the pomace (= the paste remaining after the oil has been separated out) is taken to the compost heap and mixed with manure and other waste products, to be used later in the fields, and the waste water, with its precious content of soluble polyphenols, is used to produce a natural dietary supplement – which has a strong antioxidant capacity – that has been patented by La Vialla.

Bottling the Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Bottling the Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil and health – olive oil and the Mediterranean diet

Entirely natural, like honey or freshly squeezed grape juice, a good extra virgin olive oil has and preserves a marked nutraceutical value (the term is a portmanteau, coined some years ago, of the words nutrition and pharmaceutical), on the borderline between the properties of a foodstuff and a medicine. Despite its high lipid content, 98% of the total, it is extremely stable and healthy, a unique natural preservative, the star of the Mediterranean diet (now recognised and promoted by UNESCO). In fact these are “good” fats – the majority unsaturated and with a balanced amount of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. The small, remaining part – 1or 2% of the total amount – characterises the quality of extra virgin olive oil. It is made up of 220 secondary metabolites of the plant and its fruits; minor but extremely significant components. Particularly worthy of mention are the high content of vitamin E (tocopherol) and polyphenols. Some of which have an important therapeutic role, others are natural antioxidants, others again are decisive in characterising the oil’s aromatic qualities.

Cross section of an olive
Cross section of an olive

Polyphenols, stable molecules with a double bond and high molecular weight, are capable of maintaining the nutritional and biological characteristics of extra virgin olive oil whole, preserving the unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and, in particular, oleic) from inevitable oxidative phenomena. They also play the same, valuable, antioxidant role in the human body. In fact polyphenols protect cells against degenerative phenomena, diseases generally caused by the excessive presence of free radicals in the body, caused by external factors (pollution, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) and internal factors (genetic factors, ageing).

October – time to harvest, time to celebrate
October – time to harvest, time to celebrate

Polyphenols are organic molecular compounds; natural antioxidants found in plants. They all go to make up a family composed of over 5,000 different molecules, which play a protective role for plants and, as confirmed by numerous scientific studies, also for human beings. In extra virgin olive oil they are divided into 3 main groups: fat soluble polyphenols, tocopherols (vitamin E) and water soluble polyphenols. Extra virgin olive oil is a natural source of vitamin E. All characteristics that are permitted by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) to be used on labels.
Extra virgin olive oil is effective for controlling the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), but that’s not all, the presence of oleic acid encourages an increase in the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in general, low levels of LDL promote good health of blood vessels.
The well-being of bones, on the other hand, is linked to the antioxidant properties and the fact that olive oil increases the level of osteocalcin, thanks to which the bone structure acquires greater resistance to traumas and osteoporosis.
Lastly, the presence of numerous natural antioxidants helps prevent typical conditions linked to senescence and degenerative diseases. For example, the presence of oleocanthal helps natural defence against diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen

In Tuscany olive oil is everywhere, it’s hard to find a recipe in which it isn’t among the ingredients (even in many desserts!). From Renaissance cuisine to the Mediterranean diet, it’s the “fil vert” that links small town gastronomic culture and the passing of generations. From the beloved spaghetti with tomato and basil, to vegetables in “pinzimonio”, bruschetta and ancient recipes such as Pappa al Pomodoro or Ribollita. And it’s just as important for Fattoria La Vialla’s jars of sauces. The oil used for cooking them must be of excellent quality.

The dressing for a seasonal Tuscan salad is simple: olive oil, salt, wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar and a pinch of pepper. The fresh, fruity aromas of the green liquid will give the dish an elegant touch. For preserves it’s important to use the best olive oil because it enhances the recipe and, at the same time, acts as a natural preservative. For frying, the majority of chefs now agree as well (in the kitchen at La Vialla for sure), the best choice is extra virgin olive oil. Last year’s is fine as well, if there’s any left. It’s better because it’s one of the oils with the highest “smoke point” and, consequently, produces less noxious substances, as well giving an excellent flavour.

Tomato, bread and new oil – deliciously simple
Tomato, bread and new oil – deliciously simple

Awards and recognition for La Vialla’s extra virgin olive oil

In the course of its young career, La Vialla’s olive oil has won some of the most prestigious international awards. First and foremost, overall first place – among organic and non-organic oils – in the (top) intense fruit category at one of the historical international competitions with the most participants, the Ercole Olivario at Spoleto, where we also won a special prize as “Organic Olive Producer of the Year”.

Here is a list of the main awards received by our Vialla extra virgin olive oil:

  • 5 times “Honourable Mention” at Vinitaly’s Sol, Verona
  • 1st place at BIOL Toscana 2008, Florence
  • 7 times “Grand Mention” at the Orciolo D’Oro, Pesaro
  • 1st place in the intensely fruity category at the Ercole Olivario 2010
  • 3rd place at the Zurich Olive Oil Award
  • 4 times “Special Mention” at the Leone D’Oro, Lecce
  • Twice among the “Top 25 best” at the BioPress World’s Best Olive Oil, Dusseldorf
  • 2nd place at the Oro D’Italia 2014, Trieste
  • Finalist at the Ercole Olivario 2018
  • “Extra Gold” at the BIOL International Prize 2017 and 2019
  • 3 Gold Medals (Quality, Quality Organic and High Polyphenols) at the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards 2021
  • 1 Platinum (Infused) and 4 Gold Medals (Infused, Quality, Organic and High Polyphenols) at the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards 2022
  • Gold Medal at the BIOL International Prize 2013, 2020 and 2022

The lines below, written by Gabriele D’Annunzio, mange to give an idea of the preciousness of this nectar, similar to the colour of the sun and gold, that with its fruity fragrance is capable of taking us on a mental journey back to our own childhood and that of mankind:

Olio con sapiente arte spremuto
Dal puro frutto degli annosi olivi,
Che cantan - pace! - in lor linguaggio muto
Degli umbri colli pei solenti clivi,
Chiaro assai più liquido cristallo,
Fragrante quale oriental unguento,
Puro come la fè che nel metallo, ,
Concavo t’arde sull’altar d’argento,
Le tue rare virtù non furo ignote
Alle mense d’Orazio e di Varrone
Che non sdegnàr cantarti in loro note...

(Gabriele D’Annunzio)

Oil with skilful art pressed
From the pure fruit of ancient olive trees,
Which sing - peace! -in their silent tongue
Of the undulated Umbrian hillsides,
Clear and much more liquid crystal,
Fragrant as an oriental unguent,
Pure as the faith that in concave
Metal burns on the silver altar,
Your rare virtues were not unknown
At the tables of Horace and Varro
Who did not disdain to sing your praises...

(Gabriele D’Annunzio)