Dancing Ewe farms Extra Vergine Olive Oil is a compilalation of a bunch of very simple steps, all performed correct.  We don't do anything magical, special, or even really technical.

We just work through every step slow and methodical, while paying close attention to every detail.  

For starters, we are harvesting arguably the best olive trees for olive oil production.  In Tuscany, particularly "the Maremma", has always produced some of the finest oilve oil in the world.  In turn, at a basal level, we are harvesting trees in combination with climate,  that produce an exceptional product.

We use an almost antique system of harvesting the olives from the tree.  The piece of equipment we use, is called a "Rastrello" in our area, but I'm sure has a million names, like everything in Italy!  This is a telescoping arm, with a gently vibtrating/clapping hand at one end, that gently knocks off the olives from individual branches.  Newer systems, can be very hard on the tree, breaking limbs, small branches, and disturbing root systems.  It is absolutely true these more modern techniques have the ability to harvest 5 times the amount of trees per day or more, in respect to a hand held Rastrello. But significantly lack the respect of a hundred year old tree.  They also are handicapped when harvesting on  hillsides, characteristic of our region in Tuscany.

Luisa and I are also very attentive about getting the harvested olives to the "Frantoio", the olive mill, within 12-18 hours.  AND, making sure the Frantoio mills the olives in a timely manner.  In short, harvest the olives and get them to the mill as fast as you can, before the olives have the opportunity to change their chemical make-up.  Hands down most impotant step.  Medium to large farms will harvest the entire grove, or wait several days to a week before the olives are milled.  Not to mention larger cooperative type Frantoio's may be back logged for several days, so the olives may sit on pavement in direct sunlight waiting for their turn.  This is the worst situation.

And then there are a handful of other important steps...Like making sure the Frantoio is not adding heat to the extraction process.  Making sure the Frantoio uses clean practices, to avoid rancidity contamination between extractions.  Storing, bottling, type of bottle or tin, are all part of producing a top notch extra virgin olive oil... 

The most difficult thing isn't the actual step but it's doing every step right!  We always take the long hard road, avoiding any short cuts.  Always keeping quality as our ultimate focus...

   
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Luisa placing the capsules on the bottles
Jody labeling one by one!
a bunch of tags
Luisa tying the tags on the bottles
ready to sell!
Jody and Luisa building the pallets
Sorting out the leaves from the olives
nets under the olive tree, with little sticks holding one edge of the net up
Under direct supervision
Raffaella, backin the tractor out of the garage
Lots of leaves to discard!
Luisa gathering up the olives into a pile
olives
transferring olive oil
pouring the olive oil into the storage tank
ready to harvest
"bastoncini", liitle sticks or canes holding up an edge of the net
Fiorenzo, the father of the couple who now runs the Frantoio
Big and little
Pruned olive tree
Lunch break!
2013-2014 new bottles and labels
new bottles
bottles in the holder
steep harvesting
100 plus year old olive tree at  Adriano's farm...
our new style of tins...
Jody getting ready for the pick up..