Masseria il Frantoio, Ostuni

Masseria “Il Frantoio”
Hotel de Charme, Country House, Bed & Breakfast

Organic Farming Techniques

Since 1996 a large part of our farm has been managed using certified organic methods. Above all this means that we do not use synthetic products such as fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide or pesticide and certainly no OGMs (genetically modified organisms). Eight years later (2004) we decided to make the whole farm organic. Such a conversion becomes so much easier when such techniques are already in place as the plants and trees become part of an already well balanced and completely natural environment. It is the establishment and preservation of this environment that is so vital to the principles of biodiversity, therefore before anything else we must consider the wellbeing and the future of our abundant and varied wildlife and plant-life for it is they that constitute the core foundations of any organic farm.
Whilst conventional olive farms are geared towards monoculture through intensive and super-intensive planting and the unnatural forcing and acceleration of vegetative and agronomic development, our approach is very different. We look towards the coexistence of the “cultivated” and the “uncultivated” ; the diversity of farming and the wise paths of nature.
There is a unique 24 hectare (60 acres) section of our certified organic land, a strip of land between the hills and the Ostuni coast, where there are around 900 exceptionally ancient olive trees. They follow no particular order and through nature’s freedom they now grow too close to each other. Renowned for the sweet oil that it produces, the name of this aboriginal olive is “ogliarola salentina” or “chiarita”.
The soil of the gently sloping planes is dense, clayey and rocky and the farm is covered in wild flora, mainly Mediterranean scrub (oleaster, jujube, myrtle, carob, etc) which provides an all year round source of nutrients for natures army at war with the olive fly.

Our Programme

In keeping with our project of researching “global quality” (of our olive oils but also with great emphasis on the lives of our workers and the consumer), in recent years we have directed a great deal of our attention to the production of two organically certified olive oils: “Olio delle Pendici” and “Meridiano”. Both oils come from our ancient native “ogliarola salentina” secular olive trees, trees that were producing olive oil hundreds of years prior to the introduction of chemicals upon the agricultural world. Their roots reach deep into the soil, growing and supported by biodiversity and in doing so they embody the organic methodology. But in actual fact, they are impervious to the concept of organic farming as anything but an entirely natural way of living.

I "tempi giusti"

“Olio delle Pendici” is a commitment to our desire to produce the best possible olive oil we could hope for yet without a typically frightening retail price. Pendici olives are harvested by hand in the middle of October when the fruit is still green or darkening in colour. They are pressed immediately in order to preserve the aromas and the phenolic resins and also to keep the acidity as low as possible. The yield is very small (less than half that obtained from olives harvested in December) and the quantity of olives harvested by a single worker is about one tenth of that which the machines can harvest in the same amount of time.

organic farming

As the season progresses so do the hazards that the olives are exposed to and therefore the three week period in which we harvest the olives is a crucial time for us and our “Pendici” olive oil. In this time the proportion of green olives to darkening olives is absolutely ideal but compared to our other oils we produce a very small amount of “Pendici” and as such we consider it a sort of “gran riserva”.
In November we start to collect for our “Meridiano” olive oil and in order not to jeopardise its quality, we start to harvest the olives with machines (shakers and mechanical rakes) but naturally with the essential assistance of our team of pickers. By this time there is a higher percentage of mature olives which create a sweeter olive oil; one of the main characteristics for which the “ogliarola salentina” are so renown. With a much greater yield the cost of harvesting falls and, compared to the “Olio delle Pendici”, so does the price of the “Meridiano” although the quality of the oil remains at the very same high standard.
Both oils come from the first cold pressing, their process of filtration is a lot more delicate (compared to our other oils) and they are conserved without oxygen in order to prevent the process of oxidization.

Flavour and Quality

“Olio delle Pendici” is slightly more bitter and spicy than the “Meridiano” mainly due to the greater amount of polyphenols and a lower acidity which also help to preserve it for longer. The “Meridiano” on the other hand is a sublimely soft fruity little number and a flavoursome yet discreet addition to any dish.

Work and Ethics

On a final note; it is impossible, from our point of view, to disregard the socio-ethical values behind “Olio delle Pendici”. It is not only the practice of organic agronomics that constitute the correct management of our land and ecosystems (practices that have become increasingly relevant in respect to dramatic climate changes) but equally significant is the role of the employee. In a rural world which lives in great fear of being completely overrun by Western lead industrialization and urbanization we believe strongly in the inimitable ability and skill of the human hand. Behind our “Olio delle Pendici” it is not machines, with their dirty fumes and angry gears, but the values and humanity of men and women.



Home Hospitality Products Contacts


© Masseria "Il Frantoio"
SS. 16 km 874
72017 Ostuni (Brindisi)

tel. 0831.330276

P.Iva : 01500550741

co-ordinates GPS:
40° 45' e 49" Nord
17° 31' e 32" Est


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