In the gentle uplands of northwestern Sicily, Gianfranco Becchina's estate is set on an ideal location. Sixty acres of olive groves, some situated on the grounds once used by Princess Pignatelli of Spain, roll away behind the estate walls. The olives are mostly Nocellara del Belice, with Bianco Lilla and others mixed in and are not chemically treated in any way.
Some of the trees are 300-year old stock from which younger trunks are grafted. A spring is tapped to deliver water directly to each tree through an elaborate irrigation system. Becchina's method of hand picking each olive during the white phase (the two week period, usually in early October, in which the green olives are coated with a light whitish sheen) is considered too early for harvest by many, but Becchina seeks those strong green flavors for his oil. Olio Verde's intense, full flavor and dense green hue are the result of such a process.
The olives are stone-ground under huge millstones and then gently pressed. The unfiltered oil is stored in rotund terracotta amporae until spring, naturally clarifying itself. The oil is never filtered leaving the chlorophyll suspended in the minute particles of sediment acting as a natural preservative.
Olio Verde Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a medium green but dense hue with a notably vegetal nose. Its intense, full flavor is redolent of fresh-cut grass with a fresh green olive vivacity. The 1998 winner of the Oustanding Oil catergory at the N.A.S.F.T. Fancy Food Show in New York, Olio Verde is traditionally drizzled over fresh greens, grilled meats or toasted Italian bread.
Each bottle contains 16.9 fluid ounces of Olio Verde Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy.