THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
Craftsmanship and Tradition: a
Making good extra virgin oil is not easy. And it is not for everybody. It takes love, patience, knowledge and vision. And it is precisely with these values in mind that the Bartolomei Family decided to start making extra virgin olive oil in its place of origin, Umbria. At the end of the 19th century, they chose to direct their passion for cultivating the land towards olive trees and thus dedicate themselves to what they love most.
The old family business became the first oil mill in Montecchio: here the plants find their perfect setting, thanks to its southern exposure and mild climate. Still today, after more than 100 years, olive processing is carried out in a traditional way, but with the use of new and technologically advanced means, which give a superior quality product.
Today Frantoio Bartolomei is managed by brothers Carla, Rita and Pierluigi, who choose one by one the plants and personally take care of all the production phases, from planting to pruning and harvesting. The hills of Montecchio are home to cultivars of Moraiolo, Frantoio, Leccino, Nocellara del Belice and Leccio del Corno, a mix of native varieties and others coming from several regions of Italy, being chosen to obtain suggestive blends and authentic flavours.
THE HARVEST: A GESTURE OF LOVE
From the tree to
the mill, the best olives only
The first secret for the production of a good extra virgin olive oil lies in the harvesting phase and, in particular, in knowing how to seize the right moment. The most suitable season is from mid-October to the end of December, when olives begin to change colour and reach the perfect point of ripeness.
Harvesting by hand is much more than an ancient and familiar rite: it is our declaration of love for the oldest and most delicate plants, which we have been cultivating for generations with commitment and enthusiasm.
Olive harvesting is a simple gesture, which however requires the utmost care and knowledge of methods and techniques.
NEW TECHNOLOGICAL FRONTIERS
When innovation helps us
At Frantoio Bartolomei we also pick olives with the help of a mechanical shaker, which lets the fruit fall into a large upside-down “umbrella” through a slight vibration of the trunk.
Once picked, olives are taken to the oil mill, to be weighed, defoliated and washed: the production process of Bartolomei oil has only just begun.
THE PROCESSING: A 130-YEAR LONG EVOLUTION
Family tradition meets innovation
Over time the machinery has been replaced and updated, but Bartolomei family processes olives with the same care and passion as always. Every step of the process is natural, aimed at keeping the antioxidant and nourishing properties of the oil intact and obtaining a line of products suitable for all tastes, from the strongest to the daintiest.
The old millstone is replaced by a high pressure mill and, in 2012, a completely renovated and more efficient pressing plant: these are the small technological revolutions that have led Frantoio Bartolomei to become today’s innovative company, yet with a sincere and genuine heart.
With the introduction of the new Molinova Serie Oro, today at the oil mill we automatically manage kneading times, as well as the washing of the tanks and the separator.
Thanks to the two-stage processing, instead, we can work without having to add water during the procedures. This means obtaining an oil rich in polyphenols and recovering processing residues.
At Frantoio Bartolomei, in fact, all parts of the olives are important, even the stones. Thanks to our plant we are able to transform olive stones into Nocciolino di Sansa Vergine, a natural fuel that can be used in pellet stoves. This way, we not only solve the problem of oil processing residues disposal, but we turn what many people consider waste into an important resource, with high energy and ecological yield.
The olives are pressed to obtain a homogeneous paste that includes all parts of the fruit, from the skin to the flesh, up to the stone.
The olive paste obtained during pressing is stirred inside the kneading machine, which facilitates the separation of the liquid from the solid component.
The liquid part, composed of oil and water, is separated from the solid part, called marc, by a press.
With one last step, the centrifuge rotates at high speed and separates oil from water, thus obtaining a quality product.
BOTTLING: A QUALITY WARRANTY
Genuineness and taste, with
the utmost care
The long journey of the olive is almost at an end. Bottling is one of the most delicate moments in the production of extra virgin olive oil, which requires a lot of care and attention. To ensure that the genuineness of our product does not alter over time, we subject the oil obtained from each processing step to specific controls, which ensure compliance with the parameters imposed by law. We then proceed with oil bottling, but only after a short natural decantation in a tank, which gives it that intense colour being typical of freshly pressed oil. In its dark glass bottles, which protect it from contact with light, or in its tinplate cans, which preserve its authentic flavour and colour, Bartolomei oil is now ready to be enjoyed.