Recently when we were staying at La Collina del Sole our favourite Lucca Villa Rental a friend was told that unless he cut out all fats from his diet there would be trouble, which meant no egg yolk, no fatty meat, certainly no butter and no oils EXCEPT Olive Oil that is because Olive Oil is GOOD for you, it is a healthy source of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. The best Olive Oil comes direct from the press, when you rent a villa in Tuscany it is a good idea to check out the area just north of Lucca for Olive oil farms, as they might sell to charming guests at Holiday Villas in Lucca some of the precious freshly pressed Olive Oil [only destined for home consumption] which is ripe, viscous, fruity and way too precious for cooking and best sprinkled on salads. An experience that we suggest when you choose villas for rent in Tuscany in the late autumn is to see the Olive harvest in progress, to do this you will have to be prepared to travel along winding roads in the sunny hillsides of Lucca to find a “fattoria” with Olive Trees, there are several near villa rentals in Tuscany in these fattorias at harvest time the young family members and grown strong men will be climbing gnarled old olive trees like monkeys, shaking the fruit into nets spread around the trunks, then the olive harvest will be taken to the local mill where it is converted into olive oil nectar. La Collina del Sole produces a minute quantity of Olive Oil, it is barely enough for a few meals but .. my oh my … its good along with the small Olive oil production of other villas and farms, this Olive Oil is a bright green in colour and is too perishable for export and cannot be found in supermarkets or delicatessens. To the palate it is liquid gold, it tastes of the sunshine of where it was grown and it is best when freshly pressed as, unlike fine wine it does not benefit from aging.
The colour of the oil reflects the maturity of the olives pressed. Darker oils usually come from riper olives and have milder flavours, whereas the unripe olives can make some of the most flavourful oils, which are bright, almost neon green.
At La Collina del Sole you can book one of our favourite experiences which is Olive Oil tasting at Il Vecchio Mulino as extra virgin olive oils like wines have differing tastes, each with its own subtle complexities of flavour, colour and body based on factors like the terrain, production methods, and the type and age of the olives harvested. There’s one big difference between wine and Olive Oil: wine improves with age, olive oil does not. It can lose its strongest flavours in a matter of weeks.