The LUCCHI&GUASTALLI Company is situated in Santo Stefano Magra, in La Spezia province, on the route of the ancient Via Francigena, in the middle of Bassa Lunigiana. The company is not far from famous touristic destinations, such as Cinque Terre, Lerici, Portovenere and Versilia; it is also near to interesting medieval towns like Sarzana.
The Ligurian and Lunigianese territory has a very long historical tradition (since the Roman ages) in olive’s planting, and LUCCHI&GUASTALLI offers to visitors the rare opportunity to know closely the production process of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The visit could be organized according to visitor’s needs and interests: you can choose to visit the olive groves and the mill, and/ or decide to have a lesson about oil tasting.
The full visit takes half-day time; but even in just an hour, it is possible to learn enough about Extra Virgin Olive Oil production.
The DOP Ligurian olive grove
The olive grove is just a few minutes from the mill. The olive trees mostly belong to the local variety called “Razzola”; the trees are placed in terraced terrains, which is the typical Ligurian way of plantation.
Here Marco Lucchi, the owner, could explain the different stages of olive trees cultivation, and describe the phytosanitary defense techniques, including organic farming methods.
The “ecological”oil mill
The mill, located a short distance from the olive groves, lies near the ancient “Via Francigena”. During the visit to the plant, are described both the different stages of oil production, and the low environmental impact technologies that are used in the mill. The LUCCHI&GUASTALLI oil mill uses a 2-step continuous plant, which is characterized by rational water management: the plant has been the first in Liguria, to introduce a new production cycle, that don’t produce waste. Olive’s kernel is recovered as ecological fuel and reused for water heating, while the “sansa” is sent to biogas plants, where it is used to produce electricity.
In the multimedia room, it is possible to watch some short footages about olive harvest and mill process, thus attending to the whole production cycle.
Practical lesson about oil tasting technique
Dr. Marco Lucchi, lead panel at the Apol Tasting Commission in Genoa, will teach us the secrets of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, through a tasting technique lesson. Different products are compared, to learn to distinguish a real quality olive oil from a poor quality oil, or a new oil from an old one, and so on.