The Expertise Behind Tamia’s Sustainable Pursuit of Excellence

Pietro Re at Tamia produces top quality extra virgin olive oils and aims to bring new technology and practices to the sustainable brand.

Pietro Re at Tamia farm (Photo: Maurizio Di Giovancarlo)
By Ylenia Granitto
Jan. 19, 2023 14:19 UTC
Pietro Re at Tamia farm (Photo: Maurizio Di Giovancarlo)

In Tuscia, the land of vol­canic ori­gin once set­tled by Etruscans, Tamia’s suc­cess story began early last cen­tury. Tamia’s flour­ish­ing olive groves give life to pre­mium extra vir­gin olive oils at the heart of this fas­ci­nat­ing ter­ri­tory dot­ted with ancient ham­lets and nature trails.

The pro­ducer has recently enjoyed suc­cess at the NYIOOC (New York International Olive Oil Competition), where Gold Awards went to its Tamia Iron Organic Caninese and Tamia Gold Organic Blend at the 2022 con­test.

See Also:The World’s Best Olive Oils

The activ­ity of our com­pany started in 1920s,” Pietro Re told Olive Oil Times. In the ware­house, I recently found a lit­tle chair made of olive wood that was used by the olive pick­ers to rest dur­ing har­vest, with the date 1922 carved on it. This year, after 100 years, we are plant­ing a new olive grove.”

A strong-willed entre­pre­neur with remark­able fore­sight, Re took the reins of the fam­ily farm in 2012. From there, he cre­ated a fresh new brand grounded in the val­ues of sus­tain­abil­ity, a bond with the land and the goal of pur­su­ing the high­est pro­duc­tion qual­ity. That objec­tive has been achieved with Tamia’s cre­ation of world-class extra vir­gin olive oils from autochtho­nous vari­eties.

Caninese, Maurino, Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo, and Bolzone vari­eties thrive on Vetralla’s gen­tle hills thanks to the rich vol­canic soil and ideal cli­mate con­di­tions. Recently, 1,500 Itrana plants from the south of the region have been added to the estate. They have expanded the farm to 15 hectares (37 acres) of olive groves.

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Tamia olive groves

Our vision is founded on the con­nec­tion with this beau­ti­ful and fer­tile land, which is clearly expressed by the sen­so­r­ial pro­files of our oils,” Re pointed out. We invested a lot of effort in their cre­ation, striv­ing to reach a great har­mony between their organolep­tic com­po­nents. After some years of activ­ity and many exper­i­ments, I can say that we were able to give to our prod­ucts their own dis­tin­guished and rec­og­niz­able style.”

Tamia extra vir­gin olive oils are pre­sented in the com­pany show­room, recently estab­lished on the nearby Strada dell’Olio (Olive Oil Road). Olive oil roads cross many olive oil pro­duc­tion ter­ri­to­ries in Italy. In the show­room, buy­ers and con­sumers can taste the oils and orga­nize group tast­ings.

With the pur­pose to be active part of the olive oil tourism sec­tor, we show our ter­roir and the oils that come from it,” Re pointed out.

The cozy exhibit space designed by young archi­tects dis­plays the geo­log­i­cal lay­ers of the area, from the gray tuff to the red tuff to the so-called fish eye, up to the top layer, the yel­low tuff. Villages in Tuscia are made from the yel­low tuff layer.

It is a kind of fash­ion ate­lier,” Re spec­i­fied. Indeed, this year’s extra vir­gin olive oils are being pre­sented as 2022/23 Collection.’ ”

Re con­ceived another prod­uct line ded­i­cated to the kitchen in the last few years in col­lab­o­ra­tion with some select grow­ers. We enjoyed work­ing with other vari­eties to cre­ate dif­fer­ent aro­matic pro­files suit­able for var­i­ous types of cui­sine,” he pointed out, explain­ing that high-level cater­ing is one of the company’s new focuses.

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Pietro Re at Tamia farm (Photo: Maurizio Di Giovancarlo)

We want to pro­pose our­selves as sector’s play­ers, meet­ing all the needs of the chefs with our extra vir­gin olive oils, which today are used in sev­eral fine restau­rants.”

Re plans to estab­lish a com­pany mill of the lat­est gen­er­a­tion to cre­ate his high-end prod­ucts. In the mean­time, the fruits are crushed in a trusted state-of-the-art facil­ity with two press­ing lines run by the com­pany tech­ni­cians. A group of pro­fes­sional tasters always attends the milling process.

The pro­duc­tion of top qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils requires an advanced tech­nol­ogy machin­ery and a unique know-how in man­ag­ing the mill,” our farmer con­sid­ered. Yet, the most impor­tant work in our search of excel­lence is done by tasters. Every day dur­ing har­vest, they per­form sev­eral sen­so­r­ial tests, as soon as the oil comes out, until they find the right pro­file with a fair bal­ance.”

Today, the process is dom­i­nated by the human skills, which was not pos­si­ble before,” stressed Re, who super­vises the whole pro­duc­tion process with a relent­less focus. I call them pro­fil­ers,’ who help us cre­ate the oils by tast­ing them, in com­plete syn­ergy with the tech­ni­cians, who knows how to inter­vene by mak­ing a new set­ting at each oper­a­tion.”

Once extracted, the oil is promptly deliv­ered to the tasters in a ded­i­cated room with a sooth­ing odor­less envi­ron­ment, where they can fully con­cen­trate on the sam­ples.

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At each test, their fea­tures, the bit­ter and spicy attrib­utes can be adjusted by the tech­ni­cians, until the best pos­si­ble result is achieved,” Re explained. Our task is indeed to get the most out of the fruits every evening.”

At the end of the sea­son, the work team tastes all the oils and fig­ures out how to improve the pro­duc­tion process for the next year.

The game is all played on the details,” our farmer con­sid­ered. It is a work of pre­ci­sion that requires a long and painstak­ing job, to which must be added the extra care we put into clean­ing the com­po­nents of the mill, which means more time and com­mit­ment. But in the end, the results obtained repay us for all our efforts.”

Last year, addi­tional work was also needed to tackle a sub­stan­tial drought. Disaster was thank­fully averted by rains that fell at the right time. Then, the har­vest­ing oper­a­tions were pro­longed in some areas due to the late-ripen­ing of Caninese olives. Yet this vari­ety, together with Maurino and Itrana, main­tained aver­age pro­duc­tion stan­dards, while Moraiolo, Frantoio, and Leccino suf­fered a slight drop in pro­duc­tion.

It is now clear that we need to adapt to the ongo­ing cli­mate change,” our farmer con­sid­ered. We have recently planted sev­eral olive trees and will con­tinue to do it, which means giv­ing a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the absorp­tion of CO2. Furthermore, we have estab­lished a non-inten­sive plant­ing pat­tern of 6 x 6 or 6 x 5 meters, which allows us to keep the ter­ri­tory healthy in addi­tion to giv­ing a land­scape value to our work.”

The deci­sion to pre­serve and keep plant­ing tra­di­tional groves is key part of our vision, which include the safe­guard of bio­di­ver­sity with sev­eral native vari­eties,” he pointed out. This approach also allows us to make great oils, rich in polyphe­nols, there­fore more fra­grant and struc­tured.”

Our organic groves are seam­lessly inte­grated in the land­scape of Tuscia,” Re observed. We real­ize that the choice of sus­tain­abil­ity that we made already sev­eral years ago is func­tional in terms of olive oil tourism, but what we really do care is the pro­tec­tion of the envi­ron­ment. We believe that us farm­ers have a duty to at least to pre­serve the integrity of the ter­ri­tory, cer­tainly not to make it worse but, if pos­si­ble, even to improve it. Our mis­sion is not only to pro­duce the high­est qual­ity but also to pro­tect our pre­cious land.”


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