Springtime storms in Sicily, drought in Liguria and intense and prolonged summer heat across Italy has reduced the country's production of olive oil by over 40%. Added to the climatic conditions, the increased cost of power causing an unexpected hike in milling costs, the inflationary rise in wages, transport and other commodities has meant 2022 has been a difficult year for Nudo's farmers.
The results of their hard work and tenacity in beating the weather has been borne out in the quality of their oil. Each grove is now dealing with the changing climate which has brought floods and drought, rain at the wrong time and fortunately enough rain at the right time to fatten the olives intime for harvest.
This month of May has seen the new year's olives forming in Sicily and Marche. In Liguria, always a few weeks behind Nudo's more southernly groves, the trees are heavy with white olive blossom.
Nudo's groves and farmers are all individual family run businesses and between us we farm a wide range of diverse fruits, nuts and vegetables.
The commonality between us though is our commitment to sustainable farming methods which use nature-based and low impact solutions to:
- Aim to reduce a farm’s carbon footprint to zero carbon
- Use only natural water sources and storage for irrigation
- Reverse past soil erosion
- Protect from future soil erosion and increase carbon sequestration
- Manage the farm’s soil to maintain its health and productivity
- Add natural habitats for pollinators to sustain ecosystems
We hope you enjoy reading about your grove and look forward one day to you visiting your Italian olive tree.
Location: Offida, Province of Ascoli Piceno, Le Marche
Olives: Leccino, Pendolino, Moraiolo and Maurino
Tasting Notes: A medium oil that is lightly fruity with aromas reminiscent of olive leaf, artichoke and almonds along with the scent of fresh cut meadow grass. You can taste the antioxidant polyphenols in the oil’s pleasant bitterness and spicy after taste. Use with flavoursome seafood or simply as a dressing on fresh salads to enjoy this dynamic oil with all its complementing taste properties.
The Groves: The rolling hills of Marche is the setting for the Aleandri family run groves. Farmed organically, the ancient trees of a once abandoned grove have been brought back to life by Tiziano's pruning skills and newly planted saplings are now producing fruit.
The Harvest: Little winter rain and scorching summer heat in Marche meant a reduced harvest across the region. The quality of oil from the Aleandri groves remains superb in no small part due to Tiziano's legendary skills as an olive oil sommelier, pruner and miller. Overseeing his
own milling means Tiziano blends the oil each year himself ensuring a perfect balance of flavour between the fruity and bitter notes.
Location: Impero Valley, Province of Liguria
Farmer: Nudo's home groves
Tasting Notes: A subtle, fresh, herby oil with exceptionally high level of antioxidant polyphenols producing a good peppery after kick. An ideal accompaniment to fresh vegetables, salads and all seafood.
The Groves: The rugged terraces of the Impero Valley is the setting for the Bestagno groves. Situated around the ancient Castello di Bestagno the groves are populated by the Taggiasca varietal of olive which is practically the only olive tree found in the entire region.
The Harvest: After the disastrous 2021 season when the terrible climatic conditions meant there was no harvest at all, everyone was nervous for the Bestagno 2022 season. A tremendous drought across the North of Italy during the summer months caused mains water to run dry in villages across the region and the intense and prolonged heat forced the trees to become almost dormant to protect themselves from the dry and arid conditions. Luckily the rain came in October, just in time for the olives to swell and ripen much to everyone's relief. Although it was not the largest harvest, the quality of the oil is what we expect from Nudo's award winning Bestagno groves.
Location: Alcamo, Trapanese coast of Sicily
Tasting Notes: The scent and taste of Barone Pastore oil is simply fresh green olives. A smooth, mellow, bitter oil suitable for almost any occasion with a good peppery after kick due to the high level of antioxidant polyphenols. The wild herbs of the Sicilian hinterland are present in the fresh aroma of this lively oil.
The Groves: The ancient Cerasuola olive trees of the Barone Pastore grove are situated in the hinterland looking over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The groves benefit from a coastal breeze and favourable coastal climate and are farmed organically by Saverio alongside his award-winning vineyards.
The Harvest: Despite the spring floods and gales across Sicily in the first part of the growing season and then prolonged summer heat and little rain, Saverio has produced another excellent oil. Unlike other parts of Italy, Sicily is used to drought and the old wells and water sources provide much needed irrigation during the summer months. Harvesting his olives at sunrise and milling them at sundown has produced another sumptuous oil as we expect from this fantastic grove.
Location: Solarino, Syracuse, Ionion coast of Sicily
Tasting Notes: A fresh fruity oil with intense grassy and herbal aromas. Delicately bitter with a good spicy after kick of antioxidant polyphenols.
The Groves: Sicilian native varietals of Cerasuola, Nocesllara Etnea and Nocellara del Belice grow in the rich red Sicilian soil alongside lemon groves and fields of potatoes. Wild herbs and flowers are left for pollinators and the old wells and aquifers are used for irrigation.
The Harvest: Catania hit the world headlines as torrential storms caused flooding across the region. Fortunately, Feudo Marchesa groves and Francesca's farm was undamaged whilst the harvest was generally pretty poor elsewhere in Sicily.
Location: Situated in the stunning Val di Noto in the southeast of Sicily.
Tasting Notes: A delicate floral oil from the exceptional Nono Tato grove with a real depth of flavour and a fruitiness we have not tasted in their oil before. Agnese says it is the best oil they have ever made.
The Groves: An organically farmed family grove planted 35 years ago by Agnese's grandfather who she called Nonno Tato. Most of the oil is set aside for the family so Nudo is lucky to have 200 trees on this beautiful grove. The family grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables on their farm for local markets as well as pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds.
The Harvest: Fortunately the terrible flooding and high winds in Catania did not effect Nono Tatto and the old wells and acquifers supplied water throughout the summer heatwave.
Whilst their harvest was reduced from what they would usually expect due to the intense heat, the oil is exceptional and Agnese was rightly pleased with it.
Location: Il Fico is situated next to the small hamlet of Fico on the eastern Trapanese coast of Sicily.
Tasting Notes: An exceptional oil from Il Fico. Fruity, bitter and spicy which are always the hallmarks of this grove's oil. Made from olives that are picked just before they are fully ripe this oil is packed with healthy antioxidant polyphenols. Fresh olive leaves and green artichokes with secondary notes of artichoke and almond. A great all-round oil that can be paired with any food cooked or raw.
The Groves: This organic grove is up on the Trapanese coast hinterland next to the village of Fico. 300 Sicilian olive trees of native varietals, Cerasuola, Nocellara and Biancolilla which make up the DOP 'Valli Trapanesi,' share the land with a wide variety of fruit including apricots, figs, oranges, lemons and grapes.
The Harvest: The Trapanese coast did not suffer the worst of the Sicilian storms this year so Il Fico, other than enduring the prolonged summer heat, avoided the floods and winds suffered on the Eastern side of the Island. Nicola harvests his olives at daybreak and by late afternoon, everyday of the harvest, he is at the mill overseeing the production of his oil.