«Ancient wisdom taught that our sea reaches as far as the olive tree grows», writes the eminent Yugoslav intellectual Predrag Matvejević in his beautiful “Mediterranean Breviary”, dedicated to the poetic heritage of our lands. Without the donkey and the olive tree, Matvejević wonders, would Mediterranean civilization have ever been born? Sergio Marchisio, who loves the sea in a visceral way, as a passionate diver, knows the (obvious) answer by heart. Then there is the other sea, silver in color: that of the olive groves that dominate the coast. Trees that grow on steep terraces, along slopes so similar to those of the Roero vineyards. Same formula: sun and ventilation, to get the best. And so, the Marchisio Family team has hit the jackpot: to its affectionate “followers”, now it also offers another wonder of the Italian tradition, the extra virgin olive oil, produced in a natural way with the precious Taggiasca olives.
«It all stemmed from my ancient love for olive oil», confesses Sergio Marchisio: «One day I said to myself: besides tasting it, why not also try producing it?». The opportunity arose in Pieve di Teco, in the province of Imperia: on the Ligurian heights (in the hamlet of Acquetico, at 560 meters above sea level) it was possible to buy a hectare of land, with 420 centuries-old olive trees. «Working the olive tree in the mountains is not easy, with those slopes. But the climate is ideal, and the altitude keeps the plants safe from the attack of the ‘olive fly’: in our case, therefore, there is no need to carry out any antiparasitic treatment». The result is fantastic: it comes out a very pure oil, with practically no acidity (the value is 0,0001%). In other words: a masterpiece oil, just like the Marchisio Family’s wine.
«The olives are harvested strictly by hand and taken immediately to the social mill, as required by the specification of “monocultivar” Taggiasca DOP», ensures Sergio. «The pressing is done in a natural way. Then the oil is not centrifuged, but simply left to decant, and finally refined in amphorae». The first harvest is a foretaste of this absolute excellence: from 5 quintals of olives, 1,000 half-liter bottles were born. From today they are on display in the cellar, together with the other product of the olive grove: Taggiasca olives in brine, in vacuum packs. «Ther’s a demand for taggiasche olives, and I liked the idea of being able to offer mine to the connoisseur market: they have been treated only with water and salt, without soda». In addition to organic and biodynamic wine, therefore, the Marchisio Family can now also show off its very fine oil and its extra Taggiasca olives. The great Matvejević would have liked them too, perhaps accompanied by a nice glass of Arneis.