Limestone Valley Estate Olive Grove grows 3 principal varieties of Olive:
Frantoio has small to medium fruit with high yields which ripens mid/late season. They have a high oil content and the pickled fruit displays a nutty flavour.
Manzanillo has medium to large fruit with high yields which ripens early. Excellent pickling fruit, pickled green or black with excellent taste and texture.
Leccino has small to medium fruit. Bears young with medium to high oil content. They ripen early to mid-season. Considered a dual purpose Olive.
The olive is undeniably one of the most celebrated fruits of all time. Its taste, virtues and mystique have been praised in various religious texts, and have been extolled by philosophers, poets and writers down through the centuries - epitomized perhaps by Lawrence Durrell when he rhapsodizes:
"The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold breads, the bearded heroes, the wine, the ideas, the ships, the moonlight, the winged gorgons, the bronze men, the philosophers - all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent smell of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water..."
Thankfully now the Olive has spread across the world!
The olive has such a long and beloved history in the Mediterranean that, to an Italian, olive trees almost seem holy. From the olive's place in early mythology to its current culture; its many varieties, colors, flavors and curing methods; and its perfect versatility on the antipasto board, there is so much to say about the "noble fruit".
Throughout history the Olive has been seen as almost holy - a symbol of peace, victory, and the endurance of life itself - evoking feelings of harmony, vitality, and health. The ancient trees grow in wondrous, tangled ways, with trunks resembling characters in fairy tales. The olive tree is one of the heartiest of all trees on the planet: able to survive salt water, adapting itself to almost any sunny and temperate environment, able to thrive in most soils, retaining its leaves year round, and living in some cases more than a thousand years, occasionally bearing fruit for centuries. In Greek mythology, Zeus pronounced Athena the victor in a competition because it was she who had bestowed upon mankind the most useful plant of all: the olive tree. These ancient trees, which originated in the region that is today called Turkey, have had a huge impact on all the important civilizations of the Mediterranean for at least 4000 years - providing food, medicinal potions, and the most nourishing of oils. Today there are 800 million olive trees growing on Earth, and no less than 500 different "cultivars," or varieties of olives.
Limestone Valley Estate has modestly added to this number with it's 160 mixed variety trees.