Oleificio Dell’Orto (Frantoio) is a private family estate established in 1870 and located in Oliveto Citra (SA) in the Campania Region of Italy.
The olive orchard is approximately 40 miles from Salerno on the hills surrounding the splendid scenery of the Sele Valley. This valley was an important cultural crossroad well known to the Greeks and Phoenicians who introduced the olive tree to the inhabitants of the area.
The most modern method which farmers use to collect the olives is the use of a trunk and branch shaker that grips the olive tree and shakes it. The vibration of the branches makes the mature olives fall off into large nets and leaves the un-ripened olives behind.
The olives are then collected from the nets and put into aerated crates for transport from the field to the mill. The olives must be processed as quickly as possible, normally within 24 hours of picking, in order to keep down the oxidation and acidity.
The olives are poured into a vat and pushed through an opening to a conveyer belt for defoliating and washing. The defoliators suck the leaves, twigs, dirt, etc. through a powerful airflow generated by an exhaust fan. The washer then uses water to remove any remaining earth, stones, and other debris from the olives. A bi-product of this process are heating pellets.
The defoliated and washed olives move on to the crusher, giant stone wheels that are used to crush the olives into a mash. The olive oil extraction process called malaxing refers to the slow and temperature controlled mixing of the olive paste in order to make it possible to separate the oil from the crushed pulp. The mash is spread onto thin mats that are stacked into a press. As pressure is applied, oil and water seep out. No heat is used, hence the term “first cold press”.
After pressing, if the oil is judged to be excellent, any water is separated out, and the oil is filtered to remove small bits of fruit or pit. This is called the separation and clarification stage.
The final result is “Liquid Gold”. The oil is then decanted into airtight stainless steel silos to maintain freshness and quality before bottling. Dell’Orto is also certified for the cultivation of Organic and DOP (Protected Designation Origin) olives.
The certified Dell’Orto Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a multi cultivar of Carpellese and Rotondella olives, is obtained according to the strict rules of organic farming. The process is certified organic by the Mediterranean Institute of Certification (IMC) according to strict regulations for the production, processing, and packaging of olive oil. The IMC certification is accepted by the USDA as meeting the requirements for organic products exported to the United States.
Dell’Orto’s D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is obtained from a unique selection of olives, Carpellese, from a 20 acre orchard. Respecting the rigid rules regulating production guarantees both the quality and the traceability of the oil, giving to the consumer the absolute certainty of a product obtained from olives exclusively cultivated at this orchard.