The Virtual Mill

 

1. The olive grove

The olive grove covers approximately 24 hectares, with more than 5,400 plants on the hills and 1,350 on the plains. The business farm is situated in the P.D.O. area. "Umbria Colli Assisi - Spoleto" and is under the "Organic Farming" regime.
The variety of olives used in our "P.D.O. Umbria" production, is mainly Moraiolo, Frantoio, Leccino, a small quantity of Pendolino and a non-native variety, Coratina, in accordance with the products specifications.
The favourable climatic conditions do not require special action for pest management and only certified organic fertilisers are used for olive growing.

2. From the harvest to the Mill

The olive harvest runs from mid-October to the end of December and is carried out by manual stripping or facilitated with a rake, or by using a special pneumatic beater. 
Olives harvested in this way are placed in ventilated boxes (bins) and stored briefly (for just a few hours!) in the olive storage area, a protected and well ventilated area, in order to prevent the onset of mould.
The Mill is fed by a small forklift that enables the transfer of olives from the bins to the loading hopper. The processing in the Mill is completely separate from the outside.


 

3. Processing starts

Olives come from the hopper inside the Mill by a conveyor belt. The system is capable of maintaining a high level of hygiene for the whole process.
From the belt, the olives are conveyed up to the washing machine by passing through a defoliator. As the olives fall a powerful centrifugal extractor removes leaves and twigs. The elimination of leaves is critical to obtain fragrant and harmonious oils, thus limiting the taste of "bitter medicine".
The washing step is essential for the removal of impurities which affect both the quality of the oil as well as the functionality of the system. The outgoing rinsing shower uses clean water.

4. Milling and crushing

The olive (flesh and stone) is removed, sheltered from oxygen in the air and thermal stress. Inside the Mill a cross, equipped with "hammers", rotates at high speed and forces the passage of the olives through the holes of a steel cage, reducing them to a homogeneous paste. A movable robotic arm allows the transfer of the olive paste into the individual kneading tanks. The advancement of the paste takes place through a cochlea system.
In the kneading tanks, with no oxygen, special rotating propellers stir the olive paste for 40-60 minutes at a temperature of about 25°.


 

5. The extraction stage

The paste is put into the decanter (a powerful centrifugal), where the separation of the oil from the vegetation water and pomace occurs. The decanter develops a large centrifugal force and its internal temperature does not exceed 25ø. Subsequently a centrifugal separator clarifies the oil that has left the decanter, further reducing the presence of water and fragments of pulp to help preserve the oil.
The vegetation water, in accordance with applicable laws, is recycled in the olive groves as fertiliser while the residue, is conveyed in special storage tanks and is then sold to a factory for the treatment of olive residues (italian "Sansificio") where the residual oil, (said pomace oil) will be recovered.

6. Extra Virgin

If all the previous stages, production of olives, harvesting and storage stages, Mill extraction, are carried out with great care, passion and absolute respect for hygienic conditions, the Extra Virgin oil will have organoleptic and nutritional excellence, as well as a unique and perfectly balanced taste. A note of harmony and taste in the kitchen.