200,000 tonnes of olive oil. 240,000 traditions
Near the old coastal village of Vieste, the Deluca family has been growing olives for four generations. The oil they produce this way is relatively unknown to the general public, but around Vieste you will see a can of Olio Extra Vergine d'Oliva Deluca on many a terrace and kitchen window. It is a fairly soft, golden oil with an almond aftertaste that is characteristic of the Ogliarola Garganica olive variety. The variety gets its name after the Gargano National Park, where many families have been growing olives for centuries.
The park, located in southern Italy, is full of ancient olive tree fields. It is part of the Puglia region, which produces 200,000 tonnes of olive oil a year. No other region in or outside of Italy produces as much oil as the Puglia region.
There are many proud traditions and classic rivalries between the growers in this region. In truth, olives are not much different from grapes in this sense. Each region is known for its own olive variety with a unique flavour. For instance, in addition to the mild Ogliarola Garganica, you can find the more spicy Coratina or the fruitier Perenzana. With 240,000 growers who collectively own more than 50 million trees, Puglia is known for the immense diversity in colour, aroma and taste from village to village, field to field, tree to tree.
Among the endless olive tree fields, close to the Deluca Family, lies the Villaggio Club degli Ulivi Vieste. This little paradise is surrounded by olive farmers who keep a close eye on the trees every season. Traditionally this was done on horseback, but today the riding school is mostly used by guests of the residence who would like to go for a ride through the trees themselves. It is here, opposite the residences and next to the swimming pool that you can taste the real taste of Puglia in the rustic restaurant Donna Maria. It would not surprise me if you would happen to come across a bottle of olive oil from the Deluca family in one of the apartments available to rent in Vieste.
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