The province of Verona is the northernmost point in the world where it is possible to grow olive trees for oil production.
Amarone Tours organizes olive oil educational and appreciation tours in olive groves and olive mills located in the most representative extra virgin olive oil producing areas around Verona.
For further information or to book your private olive oil tour while in Verona:
Olive Oil Regions
There are two certified D.O.P. (quality label for traditional products) areas in Verona Province: Veneto–Valpolicella and Garda Orientale.
Veneto – Valpolicella
The broader D.O.P. Veneto hosts another important micro area in the Veronese territory, the Valpolicella, well known for the presence of numerous cellars producing world famous wines, above all the Amarone. The Valpolicella refers to the hilly area to the north of the city of Verona extending west towards the foothills of Mount Baldo looking over Lake Garda and to the east stretching until the border with the territory of Soave.
The Veneto–Valpolicella Extra Virgin Olive Oil has to be produced with at least 50% olives from the local Grignano and Favarol variety.
It is characterized by a yellow colour with shades of green, noticeable in younger oils. The fragrance is complex and fine, with floral notes, herbaceous, fruity with hints of apple. The palate is decisive, harmonious and spicy. The acidity should not exceed 0.5%.
This olive oil is perfect served on carpaccio (raw finely sliced meat) of beef or fish, with boiled vegetables, grilled meat and grilled fish.
Garda Olive Oil
The more extended DOP Garda has a sub-area nominated “oriental” which corrisponds to the eastern side of the province of Verona. This extra virgin olive oil has to be obtained from olives of the Casaliva or Drizzar variety by at least 50%. Lezzo, Favarol, Rossanel, Razza, Fort, Morcai, Trepp and Pendolino variety olives may also be used, as long as these do not exceed the allowed 50%.
The most suitable olives for the production of this oil come from the so-called hills of the Garda morainic amphitheater, where the soil is made of a mixture of sand and pebbles, providing excellent drainage.
Harvestinghas to be done within the 15th January and the production of olives should not exceed 5 tons per hectare with the maximum yield of oil being below 22%.
The “Oriental” Garda extra virgin olive oil is characterized by its deep green colour with hues of yellow. Its perfume is slightly fruity and its taste is fruity with hints of sweet almond. The maximum acidity per 100 g must be less than 0.6 g.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Appreciation Tours
The production areas of the Verona DOP extra virgin olive can easily be reached from the city in not over 20 minutes by car or tour bus, featuring an interesting visit to a traditional oil mill and including a tasting of extra virgin olive oils.
These are wonderful local territories. On one hand we admire the gently rolling morainic hills which offer spectacular views of the Garda Lake. On the other side we can appreciate the sumptous hills of the Valpolicella, where olive groves “contend” space with the vineyards for the production of the famous Valpolicella Ripasso, Recioto and Amarone wines.
The ideal time of the year to undertake a visit to a local olive oil factory is during the harvest. Depending on the year, this can take place from late October through early January.
During this time the olive oil mill is characterized by a flurry of activity with a great bustle of leading olive oil producers delivering large boxes of olives to the mill, and the grinders, presses and other machinery for the production of extra virgin olive oil all in full swing. During the harvest period, the mill is in constant activity, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
In other periods of the year, it is still possibile to visit the olive oil factory, in order to gain a deep insight into all stages of production, but machines will not be operational.
A visit to an olive oil factory in the Verona territory includes a stroll through the olive groves where it is possibile to learn all the secrets of the cultivation of this ancient and precious plant. It will also be possibile to witness all the various steps in the production of extra virgin olive oil, which are explained by your guide: the washing of the olives, crushing, pressing, centrifugation, filtration and so on.
The tour concludes with a tasting. Professional tasters drink the olive oil directly from small dark glasses, but amateurs can appreciate the olive oil on slices of fragrant fresh bread.
During a half day tour it is possibile to combine a visit to an olive oil mill with a winery tour and tasting in the nearby areas of wine production: Valpolicella, Soave, Bardolino, Lugana, thus deepening ones knowledge of two important Veronese products: extra virgin olive oil and wine.
For those who do not love wine, it will be possibile to replace the winery visit with a scenic or historic-cultural tour of the east coast of Lake Garda or in one of the ancient villages of the Valpolicella and in Soave.
Verona tour guides organise and offer in depth tours featuring extra virgin D.O.P. olive oil of the Garda and Valpolicella areas. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information and details. email@example.com