Cerasuola: This cultivar is from the Val di Mazara DOP and Valli Trapanesi DOP areas of Sicily. It is a hardy variety with medium-sized fruit and an intense green color that becomes black as it matures, and an oil yield of 18 to 21%. Olive oil from this variety has a golden green color with gold streaks, and a medium fruit flavor that is bitter with a medium-spicy intensity and notes of freshly cut herbs, artichokes and tomatoes. The intensity of the fruity olive is more delicate when the green olive has just turned to a dark color, and is more intense when the olive is matured halfway. It is a cultivar rich in polyphenols, and therefore, if properly produced, its oil will contain a high number of polyphenols as well. Its olive oil is best when drizzled on boiled or grilled meat, bean soups and vegetable soups, salads, pizza and bruschetta. The extra virgin olive oil is best for frying and browning.
Coratina: Native to the Apulia region of Italy, this cultivar has medium-sized fruit and an intense green color that is the result of its high chlorophyll content. The olives ripen from November to December when they begin to turn black at their tips. The oil yield is high at 21 to 26%. Olive oil produced from the Coratina variety has an aroma of intense fruity green olives with notes of artichokes and olive leaves. The taste expresses itself in an intense and persistent manner with hints of herbs and bitter almonds accompanied by pleasant bitter sensations and a spicy finish. Its oil is strong yet harmonious, and is naturally rich in antioxidants (polyphenols and tocopherol). It is excellent when used raw on roasted meat, bean soups, vegetables soups and bruschetta made from bread toasted on the grill, flavored with salt, tomatoes, garlic and arugula, and is also great when used to cook a variety of other foods.
Nocellara del Belice: One of the most renowned olive cultivars in the world, Nocellara del Belice is noted for its round taste, strong scent and natural antioxidants. The variety is also known by numerous other names, including Mazara Nebba, Nuciddara and Oliva tuna. The production zone of the Nocellara del Belice DOP variety is located in the Valle del Belice and in the comunes of Castelvetrano di Castelvetrano, Campobellodi Mazara del Vallo and Partanna in the province of Trapani in Sicily. Olive oil from this variety has a very low level of acidity (.20 to .25%) and long shelf life. Used for its oil as well as for table olives, the Nocellara del Belice variety has a green to purplish-red color and is characterized by its large, plump size, weighing from 6 to 8 grams. Harvested starting in mid-October, the cultivar has a medium yield, and produces an oil with notes of artichokes, tomatoes, almonds, and light spicy and bitter sensations
Ogliarola Barese: This olive cultivar is also known by a wide range of other names, including Aliva baresana, Ascolana, Bitontina, Castellaneta, Marinese della Capitanata, Nostrale di Venosa, Ogliarola di Bitonto, Ogliarola di Molfetta, Oliva ascolana, Olivo baresano, Olivo and Paesana di Bitonto. It is diffused in the Southern Italian region of Apulia, and is a plant of rapid growth that is often used as a pollinating plant. The fruit is green to purplish-black in color and has a medium-small weight (2 grams). The cultivar matures late from mid-October to the end of November and has a production yield of 20 to 25%. Although mainly used for the production of oil, the Ogliarola Barese variety is sometimes used as a table olive. The cultivar’s olive oil is fruity with a persistent spicy flavor and notes of bitter almonds, tomatoes and apples.
Ottobratica: Also known as Dolce, Mirtoleo and Ottobratico, this cultivar is found in the Southern Italian region of Calabria. It is a native plant to the region and grows in the olive groves of the inland regions of Reggio Calabria and the hills of the pre-Aspromonte. Used as much for the table as for the production of oil, the fruit has a black winey color and is small with a small to medium weight (1 to 4 grams). Its oil yield varies according to the harvest period (10 to 15% between October and December, and 20 to 25% between January and April). The oil has a golden yellow color and a fruity aroma with marked notes of herbs along with thistle and apples. Its taste is well balanced with light bitter notes, pronounced spiciness, herbs, vegetables and red fruit. The variety’s maturation progresses from its base and has a late harvest that ranges from October to December, or even later, from January to April. The harvest is done primarily by hand, but also sometimes by machine.
Ravece: This ancient cultivar is also known by several other names—Olivona, Curatone and Ravaiola. Its origin is unknown, but today it is rather widespread in the province of Avellino in the Southern Italian region of Campania, where it’s the most important variety after the Ogliarola cultivar. The harvested fruit has a green to vinous red to purplish black color. It’s very prized for its productivity but above all for the organoleptic characteristics of the oil, rather than its yield, which is low at 15 to 16%. The high-quality olive oil produced from Ravece olives has an intense fruity flavor and a balanced bitter and spicy taste with notes of herbs, green tomatoes and artichokes. Primarily harvested by hand, the olives mature late, beginning in mid-October.
Sinopolese: This cultivar is found in the Southern Italian region of Calabria, and is also known as Coccitana, Sciolarea, Chianota and Seminara. It is widespread in the olive groves of the province of Reggio Calabria, particularly in the Gioia Tauro plain. It is a hardy cultivar that is resistant to drought and cold, and is primarily used for the production of oil. Its fruit has a green to black color with a low weight (1.7 to 1.8 grams), and an oil yield that varies from 17 to 19%. The maturation of the fruit is late (beginning in December), and the harvest is done primarily by hand.