Gabriele Baldanzi – Il Tirreno
The Flos Olei guide has reviewed 500 companies: Montenero’s extravirgin olive oil, the world’s best Igp, is very impressive
MONTENERO. For the first time since it existed, the international Flos Olei guide, which reached its ninth edition, awarded 99 cents to an oil mill. This record was obtained by Frantoio Franci and shows how – in the absence of perfection – excellence becomes a fact.
The guide is a manual in two languages - Italian and English – that celebrates the quality of extra virgin olive oil from around the world. Curated by Marco Oreggiae Laura Marinelli, the book allows tasters and consumers to get a general overview of international olive production.
An edition that reviews 500 excellent companies from the 5 continents, for a total of 51 countries. Until the 2017 edition of the guide, no crusher had reached such a high overall score, but since this year the 99 cents have been allocated to some Italian and Spanish structures. The path taken by the Franci family since the mid-nineties was all focused on this quest for excellence, and was a path studded with over 450 awards and one strong conviction: to produce great extra virgin products able to tell the world the territory of origin, the olive hills that degrade between Mount Amiata and the valley of the river Orcia.
If Montenero d’Orcia is known today in the world, much is due to the work of the Franci family, which has been able to tell its territory in Italy and abroad through words and images, making the link between extras evident and tangible virgin and production area. It is no coincidence that the Flos Olei 2018 Guide also gives the IGP Toscano di Franci the prize for the best geographical extra virgin olive oil in the world. Giorgio Franci and his family are perfectly aware that the profession of the miller consists primarily in knowing how to evaluate and interpret year after year the olives that arrive in the mill, always different depending on the season. And the last few years have been an important test for olive growers, with anomalous seasons like the one experienced this year, characterized by a severe drought.
Yet, thanks to the control of the entire supply chain – from the management of plants to the production of oil – the Franci also in 2017 can look with satisfaction at the campaign that has just ended. The lower production of olives was somehow balanced by the abundant yields and health of the fruits arrived in the mill.
A production that is quantitatively smaller than the average of the mill, but a high and varied quality depending on the cultivars and the individual olive groves. “Every season we are faced with new olives – concludes Giorgio Franci – that will never be the same as any other olive that has entered or will enter the hopper”.
The experience, the professionalism and the great love for this profession allow therefore to better interpret these “new olives”, and the Franci, with their 99 cents, have amply demonstrated to know how to do it.