Virgin Oil @ Planeta

Luckily Diego Planeta arranged a special visit to his mediterranean basin where he produces the famed planeta extra virgin olive oil.

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The farm is well situated in menfi in caparrinna away from any industry and on the hills sloping towards the sea, a total of 86+ hectares. The drive to the farm winds through territory that is mostly owned by his family, and after 18 generations in sicily, it all starts to make good sense. Diego planeta is a pioneer, a strategist, and a fine gentlemen with the finesse it takes to build his small empire.

The farm is no less that very impressive and staff understand his vision and what it takes to maintain a business in a place where most things are turned upside down.

The process is described to us and the machinery is opened for our inspection. It all starts after hand harvest, and within a few hours the olives are at his processing mill, located on site.

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The leaves, stones debris and olives are passed though a quick bath, and the stones removed. Then the olives are washed and then travel into a machine that de-pits, separating the flesh and the pits.

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Then the oil is made into a pulp /gramole/ and then placed into the centrifuge without any separator to extract the purest oil.

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The oil is extracted and placed into large stainless steel vats until it is ready to be bottled which happens almost immediately once the oil has settled.

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The table was set and we sat down and tasted their three olive oils; nocellara del belice, biancolilla and a blended oil known as the traditional oil which is not de-pitted.

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Our favorite oil was nocellara del belice and it was unfiltered and served with bread made from local grains, a tumminia flour.

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