Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil is obtained from the following olive tree varieties: Biancolilla, Cerasuola, Moresca, Nocellara del Belice, Nocellara Etnea, Ogliarola Messinese and Tonda Iblea (main cultivars) and Aitana, Bottone di Gallo, Brandofino, Calatina, Cavalieri, Crastu, Erbano, Giarraffa, Lumiaru, Marmorigna, Minuta, Nasitana, Nerba, Nocellara messinese, Olivo di Mandanici, Piricuddara, Santagatese, Vaddarica, Verdello, Verdese, Zaituna (secondary cultivars) and similar, which must make up at least 95% of the groves, individually or mixed.
The olives must be harvested directly from the tree, either manually or mechanically. The use of products to encourage early falling or abscission is forbidden. It is prohibited to use olives that have fallen naturally on the ground or into permanent nets. The olives must be carefully transported in chests, boxes or other rigid containers in order to promote aeration, thereby avoiding overheating and fermentation. Before milling, the olives are defoliated and washed with water at ambient temperature. Only mechanical and physical processes can be used to extract the oil. The maximum yield in oil can be no higher than 24%. All of the oil extraction processes must be carried within 48 hours of harvesting, in mills situated within the administrative territory of the Sicily region. The harvesting of olives destined for the production of Sicilia PGI is carried out in the period between September 1st and January 30th of the following year.
Appearance and Flavour
Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil has a greenish-gold colour, a medium fruity smell with hints of green tomatoes, artichoke and fresh grass. The perception of bitterness and piquancy varies from light to medium.
The production area for Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil is within the entire administrative territory of the Sicily region.
The link between the territory, the olive tree and the Sicilian culture has created a product whose reputation is confirmed by numerous awards and recognition from by industry experts and consumers of Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil. The Greeks introduced olive growing into Sicily, after having learnt about it from the Phoenicians, between the IX and VIII centuries BC. There is a legend telling that, in Sicily, it was the goddess Ceres to teach the shepherd Aristeo about growing olive trees and pressing oil. The Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as its base condiment, especially now that we know the beneficial properties it offers our bodies.
Extra virgin olive oil should be kept in a cool place away from light and strong odours, in recipients made of stainless steel, dark glass bottles or earthenware containers, in order to prevent the product deteriorating due to exposure to light. The Mediterranean diet, a nutritional model inspired by the typical southern Italian population and Greece, uses olive oil as the only condiment in various dishes, especially now that we know the beneficial properties it offers our bodies. The character of Sicilia PGI oil, with its hints of artichoke, green tomato and fresh grass, adds flavour to grilled fish or meat, cereal soups and vegetable minestrones.
The product is marketed as Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil. It is sold in recipients with a capacity not exceeding 5 litres. It is compulsory to indicate the production year of the olives on the label. Truthful and documented references are permitted only in order to highlight the production methods of individual producers, for example: “single-variety” followed by the name of the cultivar used, "hand-picked", etc.
The geographical location of Sicily and territorial discontinuity with the European continent has created in terms of biodiversity, offers a unique olive varieties that are differentiated from other areas. The pedoclimatic and human factors, related to the territory, create the sensory profile of Sicilia PGI extra virgin olive oil.