Olive oil is hugely important to Puglia and the area produces over half of the olive oil used in the whole of Italy. As part of my trip I visited an ancient farm called ‘Antica Masseria Brancati’. They have been producing olive oil here for seven generations since the 12th Century. I saw the ancient olive trees, they have names like ‘The Elephant’ and some are carbon dated to have roots over 3,000 years old.
They look amazing with gnarled surfaces, twisted and contorted by time. Over 800 of them are protected as ‘Natural Monuments’ and organically certificated. The olive oil they produce compared with the younger trees is more intense and as far as olive goes this is about as good as it gets. If you get time to visit the tour is a fascinating insight not only into olive oil, but the history of Puglia itself and you can also see the original olive pressing equipment in the ancient cellars.
For more info visit www.masseriabrancati.com