Olive growing, routes Olive oil in the region
The Umbria region of central Italy located in the heart of the peninsula, offers a wide variety of environments and scenarios geomorphological and landscape: plains, hills, valleys, plateaus and mountain ranges. The climate, because of the different altitudes, is very diverse. In the hills and plains it is of sublittoral or temperate Mediterranean with possible summer drought; in mountainous areas is temperate subcontinental and, at higher altitudes, cool temperate with heavy rainfall, especially in spring and autumn.This mosaic of environments geomorphological and climatic conditions is the basis of the different cultures in the area, and gave birth to a basket of local products rich in tastes and flavors. But are the olive and the vine, the crops that characterize much of the region of Umbria. The olive tree in particular is present in the region and follow it north to south, or vice versa, you can tap the main areas of oil production; a road, the road of Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Umbria that runs through the region with five different paths corresponding to the sub-zones of DOP Colli del Trasimeno, Colli Orvieto, Colli Amerini Colli Assisi-Spoleto, Colli Martani. The path of the Colli del Trasimeno starts from the shores of Lake castles, towers, fortresses, monasteries, abbeys and medieval churches, it continues along enchanted places as Tuoro, Passignano, San Feliciano, Sant’Arcangelo, Castiglione del Lago, and Piegaro He concludes in Perugia, the enchanting city in “tight” between the lake and the river: the Trasimeno and the Tiber.
Along the route of the Colli Orvieto are many villages that wind, starting from Orvieto, which blends magically absolute rigor and daring fantasy that find their maximum expression in the Cathedral and in that masterpiece of hydraulic engineering that is the St. Patrick’s Well. But the surprise will accompany the visitor even in Guardea, Montecchio, Monte Castello di Vibio and Montegabbione. In areas of the Hills Amerini the journey is enhanced by spirituality, from Norcia, where St. Benedict lived and Cascia, the birthplace of Santa Rita. Spirituality, but also love in these territories. And here Terni with the house of Valentine, the patron saint of lovers; a few steps away, Piediluco Lake and Cascade Falls, the highest in Europe. The journey along the territories of the oil of the Colli Assisi-Spoleto starts in Trevi, City of extra virgin par excellence, home to the Museum of the Olive Tree. Hence the many evocative destination you can reach Spoleto, Foligno, Spello on one of the towers which stands the ancient and royal olive. From here Incamminandosi to the old Path of Olives it is possible to come to Assisi, the town of meditation. Finally, the landing in another fabulous flap of a unique, in the Colli Martani, in the center of the “green heart” of Italy: the Valle Umbra. Here the path goes from Deruta Torgiano, Bettona Gualdo Cattaneo, passing Massa Martana, Todi, Bevagna and Montefalco.
The Olive in Umbria: a bit ‘of history
Umbria is always among the Italian regions most suited to this land and olive green olive cultivation has very ancient origins, as evidenced by the presence of several trees, including olive Sant’Emiliano in Trevi age estimated at 1700 years. In Umbria, the first to practice cultivation were the Etruscans and many Umbrian towns gravitating into the orbit of ancient Etruria became rich and prospered thanks to the production and marketing of oil. Later olive cultivation experienced a strong development with the expansion of the Roman civilization. Umbrian oil in fact, was considered among the most valuable oils in the City and was much appreciated for its organoleptic characteristics, to the point that they began actual exports along the Tiber River to the capital. At that time, according to some Latin scholars, there were different varieties of olive trees and five different categories of oil: oleum ex ulivis after Easter, the most valuable oil obtained from olives green light; viride, from olives which start to become darker; maturum, made from ripe olives; caducum, obtained from olives harvested on the ground; Finally cibarium, intended only for slaves and from olives buggy. In the first century A.D. oil production in Italy declined significantly due to the low-cost competition oils from Spain and Africa and also resented the Umbria of imports from other countries, resulting in weakening of the product on the market of the time. With the barbarian invasions, then, there was the complete destruction of traditional farming practices and wheat, grapes and olives were supplanted by other crops. It was not until the Middle Ages and the great religious congregations to attend to a partial recovery of olive. The real increase, however, came from 1400 when a decree, which forced farmers to implant and engage an annual quota of olive trees, the olive area did grow up to reach its maximum size. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century shows instead a progressive increase in the price of both plants is the land with olive trees, a sign of a growing interest in the culture. But in 1800, thanks mainly to incentive measures put in place by the Papal States, which has a large increase in the cultivation of olive trees. That certain information relating to the period 1880/1890 shows that in Umbria were destined 43,000 hectares with 220 olive trees per hectare. The first part of 1900 still reports high levels of olive cultivation. Thereafter the number of plants was reduced progressively. Due to this decrease certainly the damage caused by frost, in particular 1929 and 1959, but also the practice of extirpation in the last decades of the plants closer to the plain and poor incentive to build new plants
the most important cultivar
The main cultivar are Dolce Agogia, Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, Rajo and San Felice. Lesser varieties are the local and Pocciolo Vocio in the territories between Assisi and Spoleto, the Tendellone in Terni, the Correggiolo of Massa Martana, the Nostrale of Rigali and Orbetana in Gualdo Tadino, the Borgiona Upper Tiber and Bianchella of umbertide in Narni.
• The olive oil that is produced from the cultivar Dolce Agogia has an intense golden yellow color with slight green hues. The nose is complex and elegant, with harmonic vegetal notes of lettuce, green apple and dried fruit, with delicate hints of herbs. The taste is fruity and fine, with tones of fresh vegetables field and almond. Dosed and balanced bitter and spicy.
• Extra virgin olive oil obtained from Frantoio has an intense golden yellow color with greenish undertones. The nose is broad, determined, elegant, with hints of artichoke, lettuce and spicy notes of black pepper. Its taste is rotund and personality, with balsamic herbs, with rosemary and mint in evidence. Bitterness is powerful and pungency is distinct.
• The extra virgin olive oil produced by the Leccino is intense golden yellow color with delicate greenish highlights. The nose opens wide and elegant, with notes of mint and basil and aromatic scents decided chicory, artichoke and lettuce. The palate is fruity and harmonious, with notes of field vegetables and rich almond finish. Bitterness and pungency are present and balanced.
• Extra virgin olive oil from Moraiolo the color is deep green with warm golden yellow reflections. Aroma is complex and powerful, with extensive notes of artichoke, thistle and hints of mint, sage and basil. The taste is definite and rotund, with net vegetal flavor of field vegetables and sweet almond. Bitter and spicy a marked and well-proportioned.
• Extra virgin olive oil produced by the cultivar Rajo has an intense golden yellow color with delicate green hues. The nose is broad and strong, with rich vegetal notes of fresh mown grass, artichoke, lettuce and clear balsamic mint and sage. The palate is enveloping end, with tones of chicory and remember strong black pepper and almond. Amaro decided, spicy well expressed.
• The extra virgin olive oil made from the cultivar San Felice is intense golden yellow color with delicate green tones. The nose opens elegant and complex, with rich hints of artichoke, thistle, wild chicory and dried fruit. Its taste is fine and balanced, featuring decided notes of fresh vegetables and sweet almond. Bitterness and pungency are present and harmonized.
The Umbria of the new millennium: the numbers to draw a picture of the Umbria Oil, we look at the data of 2011/2012. The olive trees existing in the region is 6,191,609 with a total area of 27,809 hectares, equal to 2.41% of the national total. Oil production stood at 76,107 tons of oil, equivalent to 1.39% of the national total, a decrease of 26.40% than the previous year. Olive farms in the area are 31,170 and 210 mills.