Italy has an age-old tradition of olive groves and all the products that can be acquired from these trees. As one of the world’s biggest producers of olive oil, second in quantity only to Spain and hardly paralleled in quality, Italy features some of the finest olive oils on the market, and most of them come from Tuscany.
If you’re visiting Tuscany and its stunning countryside, historical cities and diving into the culinary tradition of this Italian region, you have to stop by an oil mill to try from the source a sample of Italian olive oil, and discover the process and history behind this golden liquid that graces everyone’s table.
Here are some of the best oil mills in Tuscany. There are many more throughout the region, so don’t forget to check if there’s a mill close to you, or else you’ll miss the unique opportunity to try some of the best EVO oils of Tuscany, Italy and the world!
Antico Frantoio Toscano Peccianti
In Bibbona, near Livorno, we’ll find this first oil mill. Family owned for the most part, the Frantoio Peccianti focuses on producing extra virgin olive oil IGP Toscano (“Protected Geographic Indication”), sourcing olives from the several groves owned and handled by the Peccianti family. The mill has one of the largest production lines of Italy and produces cold-pressed EVO oil exclusively through an innovative, unique technique and fully automated machinery that allow for the milling of olives in the first 24 hours after the harvest. The entire process behind the production of olive oil happens inside the Peccianti mill: harvest, clean-up, milling, pressing, chemical analysis, preservation and bottling. The farms that provide the mill with olives grow the Tuscan varieties of Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Cipressino and Moraiolo olives. The Frantoio organizes workshops and tasting courses and here you will also be able to buy their oil and other products. For more info or to book a visit to the mill, refer to the Frantoio Peccianti contacts page at www.peccianti.com/contatti/.
In San Polo in Chianti, near Florence, you’ll find the Frantoio Pruneti, an oil mill with a 160 year long history of hard-work, family traditions and innovative technologies all contributing to the production of fine IGP Tuscan oils. The mill offers extra virgin oil as well as a separate collection of monoculture oils, made exclusively from olives of the Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo varieties. In addition, the Frantoio Pruneti produces fruity blends of oils that are perfect to pair with different foods and meal courses. If you want to learn more about how the oil is produced, from harvest to bottling, the mill offers visits and tastings. A 45-60 minute tour of the mill will allow you to discover the production process, the differences in the types of oils produced and what makes for a high-quality oil, along with a tasting experience. From April to September, another tour is available that will teach you how to best pair olive oils with food. You can book tours any day of the week and shop at the Frantoio Pruneti Mon-Sat from 9:30 to 18:30. Contact info at www.pruneti.it/contatti.aspx.
In Reggello, just outside Florence, you’ll find Gonnelli 1585. As the name suggests, the history of the company goes way back, and the mill now sources its raw ingredients from 43.000 olive trees from olive groves of the area. The mill receives olives of many varieties to produce EVO oil recognized as DOP Chianti and IGP Tuscan. With a wide selection of quality products, you can book a tour of the mill at the Gonnelli 1585 contact page www.gonnelli1585.it/it/contatti. The Gonnelli brand includes the Frantoio di Vertine oil mill, which you can visit to discover the cold-press production techniques as well as enjoy the surrounding countryside and medieval buildings.
Azienda Olearia del Chianti
Near Florence, in Panzano in Chianti, you’ll find the Azienda Olearia del Chianti. An oil mill that produces a stunningly wide selection of different oil varieties and oil-related products and snacks, this company is worth a visit just for the goodies it has to offer in their shop. The extra virgin olive oil they produce is of the highest quality and meets all production standards, and includes the DOP Chianti Classico oil, IGP Tuscan oil and 100% Italian and biological oils, made from cold-pressed Tuscan olives. The mill carefully and meticulously carries out chemical and taste tests to ensure quality down to the smallest detail on their 4 bottling lines, that produce over 20,000 bottles of oil per hour. State of the art machinery and innovative techniques meet with the age-old oil milling tradition and the purity of the locally sourced Tuscan olive types. Closed on week-ends, you can visit the Azienda Olearia del Chianti Mon-Fri from 8:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30.