Since beginning the restoration of the agricultural and park areas, several olive groves have been re-discovered within the Tenuta. Extra virgin olive oil was once one of the main products cultivated at the Tenuta and it is estimated that in the past there were 7000 olive trees in production.
The olive grove areas form distinct bodies within the Tenuta, each seemingly with individual characteristics of olive trees according to different climate and land. In 2007 we began the task of recovering some of these areas to begin production of olive oil to satisfy the domestic needs of the Tenuta as well as that of the Cucina Dello Scompiglio. As the oil production increases it will also be sold to the public.
The recovery of the first area was particularly difficult due of the presence of brambles and undergrowth which, over the years, had invaded the olive grove. The plants recovered are mostly typical varieties native to the region: Leccino, Frantoio, Razzo, Pendolino. The recovery has led to the re-establishment of optimal conditions for growth, and the programme of pruning in the coming years aims to find a form of farming, traditional in this area, to regenerate the surrounding environment and the earth in a non-invasive manner.
There have been approximately 800 new plantings in the areas cleared of brambles, and the majority of these olive trees are now productive.
2009 began with the recovery of another olive grove located above the "Vigna Madre" (mother vineyard), with different characteristics from that of the first, particularly in its exposure to sun and the attributes of the soil, which, in fact is more fertile and "generous". All that has remained after the recovery of the area are plants that have been pollarded, i.e. pruned cleanly into the wood in order to free them entirely from weeds which were adversely affecting growth.
The management of the olive groves has been characterized by the use of organic and biodynamic techniques, which are not intended to maximize and strengthen production, but to respect the natural equilibrium of the plants and the soil of the Tenuta. The production obtained by this undertaking, now and in the future, will never be as abundant and intense as that of an olive grove run using conventional techniques because of many difficulties, for example in fighting against the major pathogens that affect olives.
The biodynamic management of the olive groves allows the use of organic fertilizers such as manure or genuine "biodynamic" preparations, which also require particular procedures of application to the plants and to the soil. For example, in spring or in autumn, we implement a treatment on the soil using "horn manure", that is a preparation which stimulates the formation processes of organic matter in the soil.
The power of lavender insecticides, like geranium insecticides, has been well known for centuries, and will also be tested in the olive groves of the Tenuta. Lavender plants are interspersed among the olive trees, in order to control the "olive fruit fly", an insect extremely harmful to the crop, and which can, in particular years, compromise the entire production. As well as repelling certain pests, the lavender plantings greatly enhance the landscape.