It all begins with the Olives.
Il Bel Cuore Olive Oil is grown using three varietals of olive trees, which are ideally grown in the region of Colli Martani in Umbria. Frantoio, Leccino, and Moraiola olives are grown and pressed together to create rich, green, peppery-flavored oil.
Olives, much like wine grapes, are designated in particular regions to create a Protected Designation of Origin. This oil is first cold pressed using a temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and is called “Sprematura a freddo” in Italian.
Il Bel Cuore Olive Oil is Single-Estate oil, which means we do not mix the oil with other oils or olives from any other place than the groves where they are grown. They are high in polyphenols and oleic acids, which gives the oil its cardiac and anti-inflammatory benefits. According to the FDA, in the United States, producers of olive oil may place the following health claim on product labels:
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.
Add Mother Nature:
As with any agricultural crop, olives depend heavily on the weather conditions where they are designed to grow. These olives are grown high in the Apennine hills withstanding four full seasons; including cold winter, wet and windy spring, hot and dry summer, and mild, temperate fall for final ripening and harvest. Optimal olive production needs to have weather all year that supports a high yield. Some deterrents to olives are freezing temperatures for long periods, hail and high winds after budding and olive growth have begun. High heat for extended periods without rain can be detrimental. The olive is a resilient plant, but it requires Mother Nature’s blessing. Without a period of cold or freezing, the insects, which affect olive development, called the olive fly, are not killed and their infestation can destroy harvests to come.
Knowledge and care:
Pruning and trimming the branches are important to keep the growth in the olives instead of the limbs.
Depending on the weather, the harvest for Il Bel Cuore’s olives begins in early October and goes through mid-November. The weather dictates when the olives are ripe. It is also important to harvest in dry weather to prevent mold from growing on the olives once they have been picked. And, sometimes you just have to climb those trees to get those olives!