The best extra virgin olive oils of Sicily chosen by Gambero Rosso

Jun 7 2024, 15:42
Sicily is home to territories with the oldest olive-growing history in the country, thanks to the influence of the Greeks and Phoenicians. This virtuous path, lasting millennia, has made Trinacria one of the most important olive-growing regions in Italy today

The first part of the island to see the presence of olive trees in Sicily was certainly the eastern side, linked to the presence of the Iblei Mountains and Mount Etna, where the fertile volcanic soil still today invigorates the trees and local crops. Evidence of this is the Paleolithic archaeological site in Castelluccio di Noto, where traces and evidence of olive oil use dating back 4,000 years have been found. The local olive cultivation, like in many other areas of the Peninsula, was boosted and structured by the Benedictine and Cistercian monks, who played a fundamental role both agronomically and in developing effective extraction techniques, enabling production to be implemented across the island.

The 2023/2024 olive oil campaign

The latest season has confirmed more or less stable production levels compared to the already low production of the previous year, and still below average. Despite the region's potential productive capacity of around 40,000 tonnes annually, production has been around 30-32,000 tonnes for a couple of years. Contributing factors include the scarcity of water and often suboptimal water management. However, the sector has been revitalised by numerous excellent productions - as highlighted by the Tre Foglie awards given to the best extra virgin olive oils on the Gambero Rosso Oli d'Italia guide - which have made Sicily a leader in high-quality olive oil production for many years. Sicilian oils also enjoy commercial success both domestically and especially abroad, where they have won over many palates with the vegetal aromas of tomato and aromatic herbs that many of the island's native varieties provide.

The best extra virgin olive oils of Sicily 2024: The Tre Foglie awards

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