Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production
The mechanical Frantoio (olive mill) featured in these pages is located in Bagno a Ripoli, just south of Florence. It is one of a handful of old-fashioned mills still in operation, and the quality of the olive oil cannot be beat.
The mill runs 24-hours a day for five weeks, starting the first week of November. They charge local growers by weight, and unlike some cooperative mills, they will not take a percentage of the oil in exchange for the milling service.
The mill itself goes back to time immemorial, but the current electric grinder, press and centrifuge are post-war. They say that one of the bigger problems running an old-fashioned operation is finding replacement parts for the equipment when something breaks. They are completely booked for the season, and are so busy, they only process their own olives at night.