Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Up at dawn to pick, not! Just to walk the dog and get the work done in the winery before the olive harvesting.
Alessandro and Raffaele beating up on an olive tree to get the olives to drop into the net
The olives are put into plastic containers which hold about 20 kg.
The beater has rotating little fingers which cause the olives to fall off their branches and is telescopic, reaching into the heights of the trees up to about 20 feet if your arms are long.
I delivered my olives in the van, but people come in station wagons, trucks, tractors, you name it and the olives are placed into large bins and weighed. You pay by the weight of the olives, not by the oil which you make
They are then loaded into a big hopper and the conveyor belt takes them into the machine which will blow aways sticks and leaves and then wash the olives
Here they are freefalling into their bath/leaf blowing zone
Ready to be washed and then go to the initial grind
After the initial grind, the paste arrives in with these blades and gets cut and pressed to mush
The off to the centrifuge which separates oil from water and solids
my oil exiting the centrifuge
Tiziano pumping the oil into my 50 L container. Normally, you get about 12% yield from the weight of the olives eg 100kg would give you 12 liters. With the dry year we had, this year the olives were less hydrated and the oil yield was over 16%
Here's where the waste solids go, to be spread later on their fields as humus
Bacco making a new friend outside the olive press
And I finished in time to enjoy a cloud free, blue sky day!