Olive oil from Muraglia
It is noble, exquisite and precious and shimmers emerald green, the liquid gold of Apulia from the old mill Muraglia. It contains the fullness of stone-aged trees, sun-drenched land and the history of a family. Because for 5 generations and over 80 years, everything at Antico Frantoio Muraglia has revolved around the true patriarchs of the family, the old, venerable, gnarled olive trees.
For 450 years, the oldest of them have been rooted in the historic soil of the southernmost part of Italy, and their care and nurturing is a matter of family honour. Here they are "una famiglia prima che un'azienda", first and more family than business. The second most important asset, after the more than 30,000 trees, is time. Not like in our fast-moving everyday world, time plays the melody of leisureliness at Olio Muraglia. As is well known, good things take time,
and making things by hand requires a lot of it. And passing on old knowledge from generation to generation even more so. All this together creates appreciation and respect for time. All this flows into Muraglia's virgin olive oil. Together with a good portion of willpower and assertiveness - the Apulians call this capatosta, which means stubborn - Olio Muraglia has made it to the top and to the best addresses in the world. Giuseppe Caterino, Olio Muraglio's export manager, knows exactly: Half of the entire oil production is exported, most of it to Europe. In total, connoisseurs in 45 countries enjoy the delicate natural product of the house.
Like wine, olive oil is a reflection of its terroir. The end product can only be good if the fruit you bring in is excellent. 95% of the olives are harvested from their own trees, only 5% are bought from farms that they have known for so long that they are part of the family, so to speak. The olives are still harvested by hand, only too well aware of the vulnerability of the capricious fruit; olives are sensitive and immediately begin to ferment and lose quality. Therefore, a quick and clean milling is a prerequisite, the way from the olive orchard to the mill is as short as possible. Although the fruit pulp is still traditionally pressed between granite stones in the traditional house, a modern closed extraction process also ensures that almost any contact with oxygen can be excluded. At Antico Frantoio, old craftsmanship is combined with the most modern process techniques to create a wide range of virgin oils: organic, pitted, intensely fruity or aromatised like the innovative Olio fumato.
Whoever feels respect and love for his product, also wants to know that it is carefully stored. With the same care and attention as the olive oil is produced, the traditional company has also dedicated itself to the containers for the liquid gold. The beautiful hand-potted and hand-painted clay bottles have long since become a trademark. "Our bottles are not just pretty to look at. That alone is not an argument. Clay bottles are ideal containers for olive oil, they are 100% opaque, a very important criterion when storing olive oil. And they provide excellent insulation. All the better if they are also so beautiful." Giuseppe Caterino is visibly proud of the colorful success bottles. Muraglia is the only manufacturer to have had its ceramics certified for food storage, another expression of its high quality standards. The quality oil in the colourful, striped, spotted or modernly decorated bottles has already won a number of awards. When asked how important such awards are, Giuseppe says: "They are of course gladly accepted, they show the view from outside on one's own doing. Here, we focus entirely on nature and our trees and sometimes forget the rest of the world. Awards show us that we are noticed and appreciated. Of course we are happy about that and it makes us proud. But they are not the measure of all things. It's not about being the best. It's about doing our best."
Text: Domenica Flütsch | Source: Edizione Vergani 11