D.at 1827 the Apple family produces extra virgin olive oil from Taggiasca olives in the Crusher property on the hills of the hinterland of Imperia. The company is located at Sant’Agata d’Onegliaa small village in the province of Imperia: 20,000 olive trees, distributed in different areas, from 300 meters above the sea to 600 meters, in this last area the “Grand Cru“, A fruity mountain oil, very precious. Certificates and awards crown a prized oil.
Products from Frantoio di Sant’Agata in Oneglia
The Frantoio di Sant’Agata from Oneglia and the Taggiasca olive
Olive Tree”Taggiasca”Is a typical cultivar of Western Liguriawidespread in Albenga valleys to the whole province of Imperia. Small and light, it is characterized by an oblong shape with a dark brown color, a high oil content (25-26 percent) and a fruit that completely detaches from the drupe.
The Taggiasca it has unique organoleptic characteristicsa sweet aroma, fruity, soft and delicate taste. The unique flavor makes it ideal from to taste as an aperitifappetizer or as an ingredient in regional recipes, such as rabbit or the chicken with artichokes. It was a gift from Benedictine monks who in 1600 introduced this variety of olive to western Liguria, which spread throughout the region. We owe the monks the cultivation in bands, today so famous, that they transformed this area into a natural amphitheater overlooking the sea. Thus the Taggiasca olive reigns over a tradition that has been passed down for generations. Since January 1997, the protected designation of origin is established, linked to an extra virgin olive oil, “Ligurian Riviera PDO“. (produced 100% with Taggiasca olives) and in the panorama of Italian oils, it stands out for being considered among the best. It is common to buy products in the internal “shops” of the companies, but at our opinion, only by visiting the entire production process can you fully appreciate a product.That is exactly what we have done with the Frantoio de Sant’Agata d’Onegliaa company owned by the Mela family, which since 1827 has been producing extra virgin olive oil from Taggiasca olives in its own Frantoio.
Experiential tourism in Sant’Agata d’Oneglia
The company is located at Sant’Agata d’Onegliaa small village in the province of Imperia: has 20,000 olive trees, distributed in different areas: from 300 meters above sea level to 600 meters above sea level, in this last area is born the “Gran Cru”, a very precious fruity mountain oil. Therefore “a experiential tourism», which allows you to take full advantage of the estate, to learn about the production and jarring of oil. A “responsible tourism”It makes you appreciate Imperia alta with its alleys and the prodigious Monastery of the Poor Clares of Santa Chiara with the colonnade overlooking the sea. Here the nuns, in addition to devoting themselves to prayer, also prepare tasty jams. Imperia was born as a province in 1922 from the merger of Oneglia and Porto Maurizio; Sant’Agata is a small hamlet, made up of a group of houses, where the Mela family lovingly preserves the old stone machine that was once pulled by the donkey to press the olives. Right next to it we find the old factory which, with the intention of the family, will be renovated and transformed into a museum dedicated to oil.
The oil mill of Sant’Agata d’Oneglia
Today, the Mela family cultivates, with the same passion as always, this tradition of quality and authenticity, obtaining a high value extra virgin olive oil. Twenty thousand olive trees, among which we find historical plants, to which others have been added as well as new plots overlooking the sea. The excellent exposure of the olive groves, on terraces ranging from sea level to Chief Berta up to 600 meters above sea level. The latter does not require any treatment: here was born a “Cru de Montagne”, an oil with a fresh taste of fruit, almond and moderately spicy, which Antonio Mela he dedicated to his wife Paola. The Grand CRU “Taggiasco di Montagna” is obtained from centuries-old olive trees that have always belonged to the Mela family, where the Taggiasca olives are harvested by hand, immediately pressed with a Cold operation. The result is an oil with an acidity of less than 0.3%. Production is limited – depending on the vintage, so much so that a maximum of two thousand half-liter bottles are produced. The experience of many years of activity helps the family in the choice of vintages and blends of olives.
Investments and sustainability
The Frantoio di Sant’Agata has been able to renew itself by adapting to technology. The new mixers make it possible to control not only the quality, but above all the temperature. All machines are connected to the company’s terminals to control the “cold” temperature of the oil in order to keep the fragrances of the oil unaltered. The Taggiasca olives, harvested a little before ripening, are pressed the same day with the same care as in the past and with attention to new technologies. In this way, an extra virgin olive oil is obtained from strong character And animatedfrom delicate and fragrant flavor. Oil production is also accompanied by the processing of table olives, salt water, pitted and today also candied fruits for the most demanding gourmands. The preparation of other specialties also marks the working days at the Frantoio di Sant’Agata of Oneglia, go skull to Ligurian pesto with fresh vegetables processed and preserved in extra virgin olive oil.
A family in love with their work
All the refined and exclusive products, expression of a family in love with its work and its land, arrive on the tables of loyal customers and in the kitchens of the best chefs throughout Italy. Just watch how they come potted by hand vegetables to understand the manic care the Mela family puts into every product. Even the packaging is chosen with care: we find bottles covered manually one by one with a golden leaf, others wrapped in ecru paper, still others are in ceramic… The packaging must combine aesthetics, be captivating, with the functionality of the grip, because as you know, purchases are also made with the eyes . The Mela family wants the environment and the establishment to be open to everyone, which is why over the years it has been transformed, arranging a kitchen in the company and a room where customers can welcome guests around from a table. The family often invites chefs to collaboratethus from these experiments were born ideas on new condiments, sauces or olives Dried taggiascadifferent labels ideal to accompany a dish, such as the Tag-Cor, given by the Taggiasca and Coratina varieties, which have met with great success. It should be noted that between the Frantoio di Sant’Agata of Oneglia a dense network of restaurants was born with which the company established a collaborative relationship, as in the case of the restaurant Balzi Rossi from Ventimiglia. At the base of everything, there is a historic friendship and a mutual esteem that binds the executive chef Enrico Marble of the restaurant Balzi Rossi e Serena MelaIn addition, the restaurant has always been part of the memory of the family, since the chef was there Pina Beglia.
Frantoio de Sant’Agata de Oneglia de Mela C. & C. SAS
Via Sant’Agata – Strada dei Francesi 48 Oneglia (IM)