Located a few kilometres from the centre of Bardolino, nestled among the morainic hills that slope gently towards Lake Garda, Azienda Agricola I Roccoli is surrounded by a lush olive grove with around 530 trees. Here, in this striking country residence, you’ll be welcomed by Annamaria and Roberto, along with their animals.
Why I ROCCOLI oil?
It all began in February 2014, when we decided to produce PDO-label* Garda Orientale Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and we turned to a specialised technician to help us obtain a high-quality oil.
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is a guarantee certification awarded to food products obtained in compliance with certain criteria. PDO products are subjected to specific checks by certification bodies. In 1997, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced in the area near the Verona side of the lake obtained the Del Garda PDO certification from the European Union.
TO PRODUCE DEL GARDA PDO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, WE MUST MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA
Our 530 olive trees are located in the municipality of Bardolino (VR).
The predominant variety is Casaliva (the highest-quality variety), which accounts for about 80%. Other varieties present on the property are Leccino, Pendolino, Favarol, Moraiolo and Frantoio. The choice to have different cultivars meets two specific needs: to have pollinators that aid and increase the production of the plants, and to be able to “play” with each cultivar’s characteristic aromas to also produce a blend that enhances and combines all their distinctive aromas and flavours, in addition to the monovarietal Casaliva oil.
practices by a technician from the Consortium for the Protection of Garda PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The aim is not to obtain a large quantity of olives, but to obtain high-quality olives.
A certification officer takes samples from our tanks as soon as the pressing is finished.
STAGES OF WORK DURING THE YEAR
January to February: Fertilisation
During the summer, our horses graze freely in the olive grove, removing weeds (thus avoiding the use of herbicides) and fertilising the soil. In January and February, we fertilise the soil further, using composted manure from our horses.
March to May: Pruning
The purpose of pruning is to aid the production of the olives. This means cutting the tree in such a way as to improve air circulation and the amount of sunlight each main branch receives. This procedure also helps to limit the development of parasites or fungi that would have negative consequences on the quality of the end product.
May to June: Flowering
The blooming of the flowers is the sign that the pruning operations must be completed.
From flowering to September: Tree monitoring
During this period, we periodically check our plants to prevent diseases and pests.
In order to safeguard the future harvest, we apply minimal copper or sulphur-based treatments to protect the plants from the main diseases and pests, such as olive leprosy (Gleosporium olivarum), olive mange (Pseudomonas savastanoi) and the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae). We have also planted numerous specimens of Inula Viscosa (Dittrichia viscosa): this plant hosts insects that are the natural enemies of the olive fly, thus aiding us in an integrated effort without the use of chemicals.
October to December: Harvesting
This operation is perhaps the most important phase in the entire production cycle, because the quality of the oil depends on the degree of ripening of the olives. Harvesting begins with the veraison of the olives, i.e. when the fruit begins to change colour, usually when it is 30-40% ripe. Harvesting operations must be carried out as quickly as possible in order to ensure all the fruit has the same degree of ripeness.
After the harvest, we deliver the olives as quickly as possible to the PDO-certified mill.
The Garda PDO olive oil production regulations state that the maximum time limit for delivering the olives to the oil mill is three days. In order to guarantee top quality, we deliver and process the olives within a few hours (usually 3 or 4) of harvesting.
A certification officer takes samples for analysis. Once the checks imposed by the production regulations have been passed, the seal attesting to the authenticity of the product can be placed on the bottle.
As a further guarantee, the use of a special anti-refilling cap will make it impossible to alter the product in any way.
Once all these operations have been completed, our oil can be placed on the market.