The olive oil mills are working full steam ahead in the Cortona area, but the yield is down by 30% this year due to very low rainfall and unusally hot weather for months on end. The price of freshly milled virgin olive oil, purchased directly at the mill, is consequently higher than in recent years, but you need to get lucky to find a ‘Frantoio’ that has any spare oil to sell this year !
Local producer delivers his olives on a foggy Sunday morning
Cortona produces some pretty good wines now, but it is most of all reknowned for one of the highest quality olive oils of Tuscany. These are some new pictures of the FRANTOIO LANDI mill, which is the sole remaining olive oil mill in the Cortona area that continues to operate a traditional, cold stone milling process, run by the current generation of the Landi family, father and his two sons (the Landi family mill was founded in 1875).
The stone mill and cold pressing room
Pressing oil from the olive pulp laid onto circular mattes
Removing the dry olive pulp from the mattes after pressing
Mr. Landi and one of his sons watch proudly as the warm, pungent virgin oil flows into the delivery room collection tanks ready for the client to take home (after paying the milling fee of course !)
The original 19th century oil sales room with its antique 100-litre terracotta storage vessels and solid flagstone floors.
View of the back end of the millhouse
And here is a link to a video showing the great stone wheels rotating in their cradle as they crush the olives to a pulp ready for delivery to the pressing mattes….