Production and Sale of the Best Oil
On arrival you’ll be welcomed in a fresh, bright courtyard with the olive grove on one side and a flowery balcony on the other, overlooking the lake. Opposite us, Sirmione, well known for its spa waters, centuries-old olive groves and the Caves of Catullus. Farther north, Monte Baldo and the upper lake that enters an increasingly narrow valley where day-night heat excursions are even greater.
On a hill behind the busy little town of Desenzano del Garda, the Montecroce Oil-Mill was built 50 years ago to crush, first of all, the olives of the estate itself and later those of the small Lake Garda producers. Today, with a careful selection of olives, the mill concentrates on producing only the best oil.
The work process
The traditional stone mill wheels have recently been integrated with a refinisher in order to homogenise the olive pulp crushed by the crushers and by a three phase continuous cycle extraction plant. The pulp thrust continuously into the decanter is divided into its three constituent elements: oil, water and sansa (residues).
With centrifugation of the liquid part only, the oil is separated from the vegetable water and filtering with cotton is carried out. Subsequent analyses by the appropriate bodies result in a precise evaluation of oil quality.
Egidio Ramanzini, the present owner, is a no-nonsense person who dedicates himself to his work with utter conviction. The results efficiently transmit all the Garda producers’ desire to gain recognition. Of modest size, the mill always requires great care and attention in management of all the operations carried out: from washing the olives to defoliation and final storage of the oil at controlled temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The direct consequence is Extra-virgin oils with original acidity of 0.2 degrees and D.O.P. extra-virgin oils with acidity of 0.1 degrees.
By choice the mill produces only blends, which is to say oils obtained from the simultaneous milling of different olive varieties. This is because we believe them to be far more balanced than mono-varietal oils. So over and above the seriousness of the operators, great intuition is also required. Perhaps the secret lies precisely here, in great human richness, in the ability to translate the smallest gesture into commitment and responsibility.