Les vins et l’huile

Extra-virgin Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Umbria olive oil

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The olive tree stands out among the green hills of Umbria. It's a plant that in many ways represents Umbria, a land capable of preserving centuries-old traditions with love. The tasty PDO Umbria extra-virgin olive oil can best represent the regional gastronomy, rich in poor dishes in which the olive oil, as a "raw" or base for the preparation, holds the role of primary actor.

Umbria is the first Italian region to have obtained the recognition of PDO throughout the region.

The PDO Umbria designation is accompanied by five geographical indications identifying five sub-areas where the oil may be produced: Assisi Spoleto Hills, Martani Hills, Amelia Hills, Orvieto Hills, Trasimeno Hills, which must be included in the oil's labelling.

Each one differs according to soil and climate conditions, varieties, geography, agronomic techniques and methods of oil production.

  • Sub-area of Trasimeno Hills

It extends in 17 municipalities in the north-west of the region including the main town Perugia, Città di Castello and Castiglion del Lago. The allowed varieties are Dolce agogia minimum 15%, frantoio and leccino minimum 65%, other varieties maximum 10%.

  • Sub-area of Orvieto Hills

It takes its name from the city of the cliff where it extends along with other sixteen municipalities including Città della Pieve and Marsciano. This area has a maximum of 60% Leccino, a maximum of 30% Frantoio, a minimum of 15% Moraiolo, and a maximum of 20% other varieties.

  • Sub-area of Amelia Hills

This area, located in the south of Umbria, in nine municipalities in the central part of the Terni province, including Amelia and Narni, provides for a maximum of 85% raio, leccino and frantoio, at least 15% moraiolo, and a maximum of 10% other varieties.

  • Sub-area of Assisi Spoleto Hills

It includes 29 municipalities of Umbria all located in the central east of the region as Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Campello, Spoleto, Arrone. The varieties present in the oil must be at least 60% moraiolo, maximum 30% leccino and frantoio, maximum 10% other varieties.

  • Sub-area of Martani Hills

It extends to the centre of Umbria and includes 15 municipalities including Massa Martana, Giano dell'Umbria, Montefalco. The varieties present in this sub-area by law must be San Felice, frantoio and leccino at most 80%, moraiolo at least 20%, other varieties maximum 10%.

For all the sub-areas, common and strict rules apply with regard to the minimum acidity parameter, not exceeding 0.65% (as opposed to 0.8% for normal extra virgin olive oil), while the panel test's control verifies the organoleptic characteristics.

To facilitate the perception of volatile components such as aromas and smells, the oil must have a temperature of about 28°. Try to heat it by holding the glass with one hand and covering it with the other one. Approach the glass to your nose and inhale deeply. Then taste a few drops, without swallowing them: you can inhale the air bringing it into contact with the taste buds. 

Here is the "flavour" (a combination of olfactory and gustatory sensations) of the main cultivars (varieties of a cultivated plant) of Umbria.

MORAIOLO: its aroma is fruity and vegetal, rich in scents reminiscent of fresh olives, with notes of aromatic herbs with the addition of a strong bitter and spicy sensation on the palate.

FRANTOIO: its smell is characterized by a clear and elegant persistence of fresh grass with harmonious hints of unripe apple combined with the taste of a balanced feeling of bitterness and spiciness.

LECCINO: its smell starts with a delicate fruity note reminiscent of flowers and ripe fruit accompanied on the palate by harmonious sensations of sweet almond, mild bitter and spicy.

SAN FELICE: it presents itself with ample and delicate sensations of field grass and artichoke, confirmed to the taste by a harmonious and light sensation of bitterness and spiciness.

DOLCIA AGOGIA: its smell is rich in soft tones of almond and artichoke, combined with the taste by a balanced feeling of bitterness and spiciness.