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the entire administrative area of the Puglia Region.
From olives of the varieties: a minimum of 70% of local cultivars commonly found in the region which are Cellina di Nardò, Cima di Bitonto (or Ogliarola Barese, or Ogliarola Garganica), Cima di Melfi, Frantoio, Ogliarola salentina (or Cima di Mola), Coratina, Favolosa (or Fs-17), Leccino, Peranzana, growing in olives groves on their own or in combination. They may also contain other Italian varieties, up to a maximum of 30%.
The olive oil culture in Puglia would probably have begun in the Neolithic period (5 000 B.C>) with the first attempt at cultivating olive groves in the Heel of Italy. As happens with any well-known brand governed by the Protected Geographic Indication “Olio di Puglia” with reference both to the accumulated history of the product and the region to which it refers. “Documentation relating to the trade in Apulian oil, as evidence of to the recognised quality of the product can be concluded from historical documentation dating back to 1792 and for the entire XIX and XX centuries – contained in the Rules – . These proofs of the value and reputation in then in more recent times, is also to be seen in various invoices from the ‘50s, ‘60s, 80’s and 90’s and from trade documents which display the “Olio di Puglia” brand.
“The historical presence of the this product in trade and is confirmed by the common use of “Olio di Puglia”. Many public events such as competitions, tasting competitions, food and wine events, institutions providing olive oil courses, organised at national and regional level, make specific reference to the term ‘Olio di Puglia’
The pedo-climatic conditions and cultivation characterising the production of extra virgin olive oil with Protected Geographic Indication, succeed in conferring on the olives and the oils, typical qualitative characteristics forP.G.I. “Olio di Puglia”. The Rules, for the groves, require “traditional types of pruning of the groves (with a maximum planting density of 150 tree per hectare) which must be carried out at least biennially, while in stands with more than 150 trees per hectare, this should be done annually.” “Fertilisation, irrigation, soil management and pest management must be carried out in accordance with the integrated production rules approved by the Puglia Region. Olives must be harvested directly from the tree, either manually, facilitated or mechanically, though harvesting olives which have naturally fallen to the ground or into permanent nets is prohibited.” “Harvesting of olives intended for the production of extra virgin olive with “Olio di Puglia” Protected Geographic Indication must be carried as from the onset of ripening – (Pigmentation Index equivalent to 2) and 31 January in the harvesting season (Indicated by Pigmentation Index equivalent to 5”). To preserve the quality of P.G.I. extra virgin olive oil “Olio di Puglia” the Rules also lay down that the “transport of olives must be in bins/or plastic crates, shallow and ventilated, to avoid damaging the fruit. The use of towed containers is permitted and only for the transport of olives from the field to the processing plant. The use of sacks or bales is prohibited. The maximum production of olives per hectare may not exceed 12 tonnes, while the maximum oil yield is set at 20%.
Any logistics for olives, or oil, like that of storage, may place the end quality of the extra virgin olive oil which comes to our tables at risk. It is this that P.G.I. Rules. “Olio di Puglia” specify that the “extraction and packaging zone includes the entire administrative territory of the Puglia region.” Moreover, they go on to state that “olives intended for the production of ‘Olio di Puglia’ P.G.I. extra virgin olive oil must be stored at the press until the end of the pressing phase in rigid, aerated containers filled to no more than 4/5 of their capacity and they must be pressed within no more than 36 hours of harvesting, however, storage at the press may not exceed these time limits. Before pressing, olives intended for the production of extra virgin ‘Olio di Puglia’ P.G.I. must be subjected to a defoliation process. The transformation processes permitted for the production of ‘Olio di Puglia’ I.G.P. are exclusively of a mechanical and physical type. The maximum allowable temperature of the olive paste being processed in the mill is 27° C”.
The greatest care must be exercised during extraction since the Rules stipulate that I.G.P. ‘Olio di Puglia’ must be stored in perfectly clean stainless steel tanks, placed in a cool, dry area with temperature values between 12° C and 27°C or in refrigerated silos and the use of an inert gas is permitted in the headspace (nitrogen or argon) for optimal storage of extra virgin olive oil, to avoid undesirable variations in the chemical and organoleptic characteristics which typify the product.”
“Before packaging the oil must be naturally decanted, filtered or using other methods of a physical type to remove any production residues (sludge, vegetable water). To guarantee the quality and reputation of ‘Olio di Puglia’ P.G.I extra virgin olive oil all the production and transformation phases must take place in Puglia”.
“Storage, bottling and packaging must take place in the designated geographical zone (production zone) – or Puglia – before and not later than 31 October following harvesting for oil production”.
“Storage is one of the phases of the production process intended to protect the product from changes to its chemical, organoleptic and health properties. Bottling and packaging in the designated geographic zone are compulsory – as the production Rules set out – both for protecting qualitative requirements and in particular for the characteristics that typify it as “Olio di Puglia” P.G.I. distinguished by the concentration of biophenols, as well as, above all, to guarantee the true authenticity of extra virgin oil from Puglia, the traceability of the product and to ensure its control.
The detailed technical sections of the Rules express the attention to and passion for absolute quality which characterises the “Olio di Puglia” with Protected Geographical Indication.
I.G.P. extra virgin olive oil “Olio di Puglia” is characterised – as is set out in the production Rules – “by the great variety of sensory properties which derive from the genotypes of its numerous indigenous cultivars, from the particularity of the geographic environment and pedo-climatic conditions and from the cultural and extractive techniques typical to the region of origin”.
The following characteristics should be present on rlease to the consumer:
– olfactory distinguished by a clear olive notes with variable intensity, with evidence of vegetable notes of freshly cut grass and/or leaves, fresh almonds and/or artichokes;
– taste with hints of vegetables, bitter and spicy notes with variable intensity which are associated with green almonds and/or thistles, with an after-taste of grass, artichoke, other vegetables and light flavours of fresh almonds.
The extra virgin olive oil and the “Olio di Puglia“Protected Geographic Indication certification must meet the following specific parameters laid down by the Rules:
– colour: from green to straw yellow with chromatic variations over time;
– organoleptic characteristics with descriptor Fruity Olive flavour Bitter and
Spicy, Average 2 – 8/ 2 – 7/ 2 -7;
– chemical characteristics with Acidity (%):≤ 0,40; number of peroxides (meq 02/kg): ≤ 10 meq 02/kg; ethyl esters: ≤ 20; total biophenols: ≥ 300 mg/kg, of which bio-active phenols ≥ 250 mg/kg*.
The qualitative parameters set out above as well as those not expressly cited are in any case in accordance with current EU regulations for extra virgin olive oils.
Values for acidity and the number of peroxides are permitted tolerances of 20%.