` An Accidental Purist: Gioia Pinna

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An Accidental Purist: Gioia Pinna

Jun. 14, 2010
By Denise Johnson

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In the first of the Olive Oil Times Pro­ducer Pro­files, a new video series about peo­ple around the world who pro­duce olive oil, we proudly intro­duce Gioia Pinna from the Umbrian farm Agri­cola Mas­cio.

The dream grew in a serendip­i­tous way. What began as a coun­try home just four years ago for Gioia Pinna and her hus­band has become an estate farm where the cou­ple is deter­mined to make a clas­sic Umbrian extra vir­gin olive oil the very best it can be, through dili­gence and inno­va­tion in every aspect of the pro­duc­tion process.
The focus has paid off. Mas­cio has already received awards and acco­lades through­out Italy and beyond. The farm caries the Umbrian DOP Colli Assisi Spo­leto des­ig­na­tion of ori­gin, and uti­lizes a unique trace­abil­ity sys­tem which allows con­sumers who enter a bot­tle’s lot num­ber to see via satel­lite the very patch, among the stun­ningly beau­ti­ful groves, where the olives were picked to make the oil about to be enjoyed.

The farm con­sists of 8,000 trees on 23 acres. 70% of the trees are moraiolo, with lec­cino and fran­toio mak­ing up the bal­ance. While an olive tree’s devel­op­ment of fruit is a yearly event, the repro­duc­tive activ­ity takes place on a two-year cycle. Mas­cio closely observes the phe­nol­ogy of the olive trees to main­tain a data­base of the plants’ devel­op­ment dur­ing the growth cycles to fine-tune cul­ti­va­tion pro­ce­dures. The objec­tive is to pro­duce the per­fect olive oil and the hard work seems to be work­ing. Mas­cio’s FFA con­tent is an incred­i­bly low 0.12%, indi­cat­ing healthy olives that were quickly milled, and the per­ox­ide value is just 6.77 meq/kg, sig­nal­ing a low state of oxi­da­tion.

On the infor­ma­tive web­site of Agri­cola Mas­cio among infor­ma­tion about phe­nol­ogy, trace­abil­ity, vari­etals, soil types, slope expo­sures and sen­sory analy­sis there comes this one sug­ges­tion: Prac­tice the sim­ple act of tast­ing Principe di Mas­cio olive oil.”

I did. What I tasted was a rush of lively green fruit, intense fresh olive fla­vors and a sharp, spicy sting. Mas­cio is not for whimps. This is seri­ous extra vir­gin olive oil that will stand up and punch out any­thing sub­tle in its way. Driz­zle on red meat with mush­rooms, and pour it in hearty soups and on grilled veg­eta­bles. Find the 2010 Agri­cola Mas­cio olive oils at oliveoilshop.com.

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If you are an olive oil pro­ducer and would like us to con­sider your story for a future seg­ment in the Pro­ducer Pro­file Series, please con­tact our edi­tor.

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