Tapping into Green Gold
Autumn is one of the most exciting and unforgettable times of the year to visit Tuscany. Harvest season is in full swing which means new wine and olive oil tasting, and the hunt for winter white truffles begins.
Tuscany is considered the leading producer of extra-virgin olive oil in the world and on the top of that list is Carma. That's why is it extra special to stay at Carma R.Elais which is located within the olive groves of their other business: Bio Carma - an organic permaculture project established in 2000 in the valley of Civita di Bagnoregio.
Nurture your plants and your land
The Trees at Carma are located in different plots of land, in some cases also in different climatic conditions. Different types of olive trees grow on the farm: Leccino, Frantoio and Moraiolo are the typical olive varietals of the region, but also the Maurino type and other very local plants that have been nurtured there for generations are part of the farm.
It is their mission to protect the trees and to protect the land. Besides the employees, they are also helped by the donkeys that have the task to clean the land, keep it fertile, especially in those areas where we cannot use technical equipment due to the conformation of the terroir.
Harvesting at the right time is of essential importance for each type of olive. The difference in soil, location and variety of tree means there have to be different moments to harvest them. The harvesting period usually starts at the beginning of October and finishes with the Moraiolo at the end of November. The harvest starts early in the morning and within 6 hours the whole milling process is completed. At the very end of this process there are anywhere between 30 and 40 different containers of olive oil. This is when the blending process starts to obtain their super special Extra-Virgin, high-end olive oils.
An Eco-Friendly Mill
The building that hosts the mill has been designed by the architects Alvisi-Kirimoto and their team in Rome.
The reason the building is mainly underground, is to take full advantage of the most natural and ancient way to control temperature, to have a linear production process and to send a clear message of transparency to underline their ethical commitment.This is the reason three-quarters of the building is positioned underground with only one external access point positioned at the transparent glass/cement facade with two large glass doors. The material - the big transparent glass blocks - were invented by Renzo Piano, a mentor of Massimo Alvisi, and were also used for the Hermes tower in Ginza Tokyo.
The facade is covered with green plants during spring and summer as for the building to disappear in nature.
The Leonardo da Vinci of mill makers
The mill at Carma is built by Giorgio Mori, the Leonardo da Vinci of mill makers. It is a continuous cycle system which allows the possibility to intervene with great precision according to the type and state of the olives that are harvested.The cold process can last 20 to 90 minutes, after which there are two filtering phases. After this phase the oil is put into special containers without oxygen.This phase ends with the blending process, which is completed by the olive oil master, who is world known for creating harmonious and unique olive oils.
Extra-virgin olive oil tastings
Unlike wine, another defining Tuscan gem, extra-virgin olive oil comes directly from the tree. Freshness and authenticity are rich in Tuscan EVOO, reminding you of its natural sourcing with every taste. The adoration for oro verde (“green gold”) is so profound in Tuscany that extra-virgin olive oil tastings can occur as frequently as wine tastings. When staying at Carma R.Elais a tasting is simply a must! Carma R.Elais starts from a land of ancient history and traditions but is projected towards the future with sustainability on their mind, as they are above all, bio farmers.
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