The olive tree is a blessed tree, which flourishes in the stony and arid ground of the Mediterranean. It bears fruit under unfavorable conditions of drought, strong winds and high temperatures, while its longevity and productivity wrote the story of the Mediterranean people.
It is a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, health, and beauty which has been adored for thousands of years. It comprises a living part of a several cultural heritages, legends, and traditions.
The cultivated olive tree originates from the eastern Mediterranean basin. It has the ability to withstand long periods of hot, dry summers and can also endure temperatures bordering on 0°C during winter months. Mature olive trees are trees can range in shape and size. In some cases, the trees can reach heights of up to 10 meters. Although, dwarf olive trees for decorative purposes can be found. In the Maremma region of Tusacany, olive trees bloom at the end of spring (from April – May) while harvesting begins in October and ends in December.
The olive tree was brought to Italy by the Greeks, and was cultivated by the Etruscans and later by the Romans who organized the development of olive oil and even started an olive oil stock-exchange. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the cultivation of the olive tree disappeared nearly completely, leaving the Middle Age with only a few small olive groves amongst the Tuscan landscape
The development of larger groves was due mainly to monasteries that allowed peasants to receive a share of the harvest for a day's work, a system that essentially still exists today. Year's later olive tree cultivation spread again and Florence became an important region, establishing crucial rules governing olive tree cultivation and the quality of the olive oil.
The most common types of olives that are usually cultivated in modern-day Tuscany are Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino but the list encroaches 73 different varietals! Frantoio is a native of Tuscany but has spread throughout the Italian peninsula. Its cultivation is widespread because it produces a fine, agreeable and aromatic olive oil. Moraiolo, Leccino, and Pendolino varietals also make a flavorful olive oil and, but the Frantoio varietal, has a stronger endurance to temperature and weather fluctuations. We mainly harvest a mixture of Frantoio, Leccino, and Moraiolo.