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.
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.