Sardinia. An olive growing that surprises you – from blog

By Fausto Borella

Despite the vast tracts of fields and more than 40,000 hectares of cultivation, olive growing in Sardinia is nothing compared to data relating to Puglia region, but it takes however its place on the same level of Umbria. To date, there are about 6 million plants cultivated in about 53,000 olive-growing farms and 10,000 tonnes of olive oil, that is 1,4% of the national production.
The diffusion of the olive goes here, too, to the arrival of the Phoenicians. The flourishing period of olive do not decline with the fall of the Roman Empire, thanks to the work of the Republic of Pisa governors, ready to support the planting of olive trees. The heyday was during the Spanish domination, which spread, among other things, lots of varieties of the Iberian territory.
The major areas of production are the hills of Parteolla-Trexenta in the South-East area, the hills of Sulci-Iglesiente in the South-West area, the Montiferru in the Oristano province, the province of Nuoro and the plateau of Sassari. The province of Sassari remains the most productive due to the large extension of olive groves in the suburban areas.
The existing cultivars are typical of this specific territory and are well distinguished one from the another. The most common are the Bosana, typical of Sassari, with its small drupe and a good yield of oil; Semidana, in the Oristano area, with its red colour; the Pizz’e carroga, spread throughout the island; Tonda from Cagliari, widespread in Campidano in Cagliari and in the Oristano area, and the Nera from Gonnos, grown in the Guspinese-Villacidrese area. The only present PDO – PDO Sardinia – covers the whole island, with precise directions in rules and regulations for production, and is produced with 80% Bosana, Tonda from Cagliari, Nera from Villacidro, Semidana and with 20% of minor varieties of the area, without affecting the final characteristics of the product.
Some tips to store oil for as much time as possible with its original organoleptic characteristics may relate to the preservation temperature within a range between 12 and 23 °C and the protection of the bottle from direct light and heat. For what concerns high quantities of product, it would be ideal to inactivate the depot tanks with the injection of gaseous nitrogen or argon, so as to protect the sensory characteristics of the oil.
The PDO Sardinia oil has a slightly bitter taste, and reminds of the scent of wild thistle of the Mediterranean vegetation. To be enjoyed raw on a salad of spiny artichoke and pecorino or to enrich slices of porceddu.