Many small producers come together in the heart of Sardinia and produce one of the best oils in Italy from centuries-old trees

Apr 29 2024, 12:36
One hundred and fifty members who manage a total of one thousand hectares of olive groves. The story of the Olivicoltori di Oliena cooperative, awarded by the Gambero Rosso's Oli d'Italia guide

The story of the Olivicoltori di Oliena cooperative began in 2016 as a natural evolution of an earlier cooperative experience founded in the first half of the last century. A reality that today brings together many small producers from diverse social backgrounds who have decided to combine their know-how in a single productive and valuable context. The importance of coming together and producing quality oil in a context of small producers has led this beautiful Sardinian reality to be recognized as the "Cooperative of the Year," in partnership with Monte dei Paschi di Siena, receiving the award during the presentation of the Gambero Rosso's Oli d'Italia 2024 guide at Vinitaly - Sol Agrifood in Verona.

The cooperative and its relationship with the territory

Located in the heart of Sardinia, in an excellent context for agricultural production and, in particular, olive growing, the cooperative now has around 150 members who manage a total of one thousand hectares of olive groves where even ultra-centennial trees of great beauty thrive. A reality based on knowledge of the territory and olive oil production that has been passed down from generation to generation, but which has also managed to keep up with the times by focusing on a production that enhances the peculiarities of the native variety symbol of this area: the Nera di Oliena.


Present and future of the cooperative

An evolutionary process that also involves the words of Graziano Pau, president of the cooperative: "Our main objective is the enhancement of local olive productions, to be achieved through a value path, where the pursuit of quality perfection becomes an integral part of an evolutionary process, in which the primary productive concept merges harmoniously with the concept of landscape development. Future strategies will mainly focus on associating the excellence of productions with the environment and the landscape, where the recovery of identity assets, representing the history and culture of our community, will be essential for the preparation and implementation of an innovative development process that sees primary production as a complementary element, in a context where hospitality, storytelling of the territory, and on-site tasting of productive excellences will be the backbone of the evolutionary process. Our idea of development goes through this path which will also be accompanied simultaneously by a continuous search for innovation and improvement of productions. In this context, for example, the production of bottarga pate produced by our cooperative traces the beginning of an evolutionary path, where innovation takes root in the tradition, marrying significant regional productions for our identity."

The cooperative's oil: Iliò

It is a single-variety oil of Nera di Oliena that shows powerful aromas of tomato leaf, lettuce, aromatic herbs, apple, and balsamic notes on the nose. On the palate, it is delicate in bitter sensations and presents an elegant, never intrusive spiciness with good persistence. An oil of great complexity and versatility that pairs well with many typical Sardinian dishes, from malloreddus alla campidanese to culurgiones, but also goes beyond regional boundaries like on a tomato soup or a marinara pizza.

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram