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Taranto in the census and cadastral areas with the letter “A” and, in the province of Taranto in the regions of Ginosa, Laterza, Castellaneta, Palagianello, Palagiano, Mottola, Massafra, Crispiano, Statte, Martina Franca, Monteiasi, Montemesola.
Types of olives by variety: 80% Frantoio, Coratina, Leccino and Ogliarola and 20% of other varieties present in the groves either on their own or in a blend.
Dalle olive di varietà: 80% Frantoio, Coratina, Leccino e Ogliarola ed un 20% di altre varietà presenti nell’oliveto da sole o congiuntamente.
The ravines stretching along the Ionian sea and the slopes of the Murge of Taranto are the natural confines that define the olive groves of the D.O.P. “Terre Tarentine”. Each canyon of the ravines or lamias, which run down from the inland of Taranto towards the sea, make up a reservoir of plants and animals whose biodiversity is immediately observable.
The love story between Taranto and extra virgin olive oil – which led to achieving recognition as P.D.O. “Terre Tarentine” – is an ancient one and starts with the wide distribution of wild olive trees, called “olivastro”, for which evidence has been found from prehistoric times.
The cultivation of domestic olives expanded here thanks to the Greeks and the Phoenecians. The olive oil culture developed in the Messapian era between the V and IV century before Christ, which is recorded in many archaeological finds such as amphorae which were used for the transport and currency in the Messapian period on which olive trees are represented.
For Taranto the olive has been not only a source of fuel and food, a product for devotional, medicinal and cosmetic purposes but largely contributed, together with grain, to the growth of trade for the capital port of Ionia. Also, while the forest cover reduced – to open fertile ground for its gradual use in agriculture – for centuries the pruning of olive trees continued to provide Taranto with wood for burning.
The maintenance of the agrarian landscape of Taranto and its ulivi secolari progressed alongside new olive trees also dedicated to biological cultivation.
The restoration of impressive manor houses included the protection and improvement of the olive tree canopy which surround them, bringing in tourists to explore this landscape tended like gardens in which worker bees produce Taranto honey which has been enjoyed since ancient times.
In cooking P.D.O. oil “Terre Tarentine”, because of its mildness and its fruity flavour, can be widely used for raw dishes, for seafood and vegetable anti-pasta, hors d’oeuvres like vegetables, main courses with delicate flavours. It adds a mild and unique taste to cooking.
Those who choose to serve P.D.O. “Terre Tarentine” oil use a product which can be put on the market, as the production Rules say “in suitable containers no larger than 5 litres”. “On the packaging labels there must appear the vintage with the indication Terre Tarantine followed by the mark “Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO)“, the crest of the commune, the year of production and the distinguishing mark of guarantee comprising a unique alphabetic/numeric code assuring the traceability of the product”.
Moreover “the harvesting of olives must be carried out in between the months of October and January of each year. The olives must be harvested directly from the tree and must be transported to the press within the same day, where they must be stored in solid and aerated containers and in cool rooms protected from fluctuations in temperature so as to ensure the integrity of the fruit. Pressing must take place within 72 hours of delivery to the the press.”
P.D.O. extra virgin olive oil “Terre Tarentine” on release to the consumer may be filtered or unfiltered and must possess the following chemical and organoleptic characteristics: