Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil is obtained from the Cellina di Nardò and Ogliarola olive varieties, which must make up at least 60% of the groves, individually or mixed. Up to 40% of other varieties may also be present.
The production, processing and bottling-packaging area of Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil is within the entire territory of the Province of Lecce and several municipal areas in the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi, in the Apulia region.
The harvest must be completed by January 31st of each year. The maximum permitted production is 12 tonnes per hectare. The olives must be harvested directly from the trees, either by hand or mechanically. The oil must be pressed within two days of the harvest. The oil yield must not exceed 20%.
Appearance and Flavour
Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil is green or yellow in colour with green highlights. It has a mild fruity aroma of ripe olives, with a light leafy note and a medium fruity flavour, slightly bitter and piquant depending on when the olives were harvested.
Olive tree cultivation in the production area of Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil dates back as far as 8.000 years. Over the following centuries, the local production of olive oil first benefited from the traditional oil making techniques of the Messapians, followed by those of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. The trading of olive oil began during the Middle Ages, thanks to the Basilian monks who decided to identify this area, which extends from Murgia to where the Adriatic and the Ionian seas meet, with the name Terra d’Otranto.During the Renaissance, the quality of the olive oil in this area was so renowned that it was even imported to the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
Extra virgin olive oil is highly perishable and it is therefore important that it is stored correctly in order to maintain its organoleptic characteristics. It should be kept in a cool, dark place at a temperature between 14 and 18°C, away from heat sources and other foods that release odours. It should be consumed within four to six months of pressing to fully appreciate its qualities. Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour, making it ideal as a condiment for durum wheat pasta dishes, boiled vegetables and pulses, as well as drizzled on meat and fish dishes.
Terra d’Otranto PDO extra virgin olive oil is characterised by a maximum acidity of 0,65 g per 100 g of oil and a panel test result higher than or equal to 6,5.