Wine & Other Stories

Frantoio Cassese: interview with Giovanni Cassese

Written by Veronica Lavenia

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The history of Frantoio Oleario Cassese spans four generations. A story of people who have bet on the fertile land of Puglia to give life to an extra virgin olive oil that expresses the strong personality of the Italian oil region par excellence.

The company, located in Villa Castelli, halfway between the South-West Murgia and the Alto Salento, an area considered the Capital of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is known nationally and internationally for its special processing method. of the product. A methodology based on reduced times between harvest and cold pressing that never exceeds eight hours between one operational phase and another.

The conservation of EVO oil is another flagship of the company: underground tanks in stainless steel guarantee the conservation of the organoleptic properties of the product.

A rigorous supply chain, attention to particulates, from the olive grove to the mill, equipped with cutting-edge technology, the result of huge investments in order to improve the company’s production process.
A quality Extra virgin olive oil means bringing a healthy juice to the table, ideal for any preparation, sweet and savory. It means giving value to a key product of the Mediterranean Diet (Intangible Heritage of Humanity) that offers well-being and taste.

©Frantoio Cassese

Your company is among the most quoted in the national olive oil world and, since its inception, has focused on family management, a guarantee of quality for the consumer. Can you tell us about the beginnings of your company and the goals achieved over time?

Our company has been prestigiously present for years, not only in the Apulian olive and oil scene, but also in the national and international one, constituting a well-being for the agricultural, industrial and commercial economy of Villa Castelli, the Olive oil Capital of Puglia.

Frantoio Oleario Cassese has been operating in the territory for four generations, thanks to the commitment and sacrifice of the whole Cassese family, which has always treasured the teachings and inheritance received in the olive and oil fields. In order to achieve its objectives, the Company relied on the modernization of its production systems and methods, with the sole purpose of delivering an exquisite and genuine product to customers.

For us, therefore, the watchword, constant and almost obsessive, is to pursue, achieve and promote, always in new and more important commercial areas, the high quality of its EVOO product, distinguished by the “ISO 22000 certification: 2018”, “Puglia Quality Product “and” Bio Certification”, without saving the necessary and often substantial economic investments aimed at improving the production of the Company and putting in place a lot of personal and family energy.

In addition, the company is part of an important “Slow Food Presidium” consortium, capable of protecting small quality products to be safeguarded, made according to traditional practices.

©Frantoio Cassese

Subsequently, we were able to broaden our horizons, thanks to the participation in multiple events and fairs, such as: Lyon Fair; L’Artigiano in Fiera 2020 in Milan; the 273 th Antica Fiera in Arsego; the Second edition of the Fiera del Mare in Taranto; the Golositalia 2020 Fair in Montichiari; L’Artigiano in Fiera 2019 in Milan; Il Bontà 2019 in Cremona; the 2019 Barcolana Fair in Trieste; the 2019 Rosario Fair in San Donà di Piave, the 2019 Cheese Fair in Bra, the Fair of Agriculture 2019 in Mirano, the Slow Fish 2019 Fair in Genoa; the Tuttofood 2019 Fair in Milan and the Salone di Origine in Montichiari.

However, what distinguishes our reality is the Registered Trademark, a sign capable of identifying a product or service by indicating the source of origin in the owner. It is also important to underline that, thanks to our continuous dedication, the Company has been able to obtain illustrious awards, such as: Lodo Milano 2022, London Iooc 2021 Platinum Medal – Quality Awards 2021, Guida Extravoglio 2021, Lodo Milano 2021, Puglia Food Awards 2020, Excellence 2019 as the best company in the province of Brindisi and Puglia Food Awards 2019.

©Frantoio Cassese

In which area of ​​Puglia are the olive groves located and which pedo-climatic characteristics make your production special?

Our olive groves are located in Puglia, precisely in the city of Villa Castelli. The town is located on the last offshoots of southern Murgia and overlooking the Salento plain, as an authentic Natural Balcony, characterized by its territory naturally suited to the production of precious cultivars and 70% of its surface is affected by endless expanses of olive groves. Both in the flat and in the hilly part, passing from 150 m.s.l.m. of the Salento area close to Grottaglie and Francavilla, at 330 m.s.l.m. of the Murgian hilly area on the border with Ceglie Messapica and Martina Franca. However, the hilly position represents a pedoclimatic characteristic, making our production special; starting from a flat area and moving towards a hilly or more mountainous area, the quality of the organoleptic and olfactory oil acquires more intense notes.

©Frantoio Cassese

Which cultivars do you grow?

The cultivars we cultivate are: Leccino, Ogliarola Salentina, Cellina di Nardò, Coratina and Biancolilla; the first two are the most used by our company and the most prestigious and indigenous in our area.

©Frantoio Cassese

In the company there is also the chance of visits and tastings and, for the olive sector, this service is not always so obvious. How does the tour take place?

Of course, it is possible to organize guided tours for individuals or groups at our oil mill and in the historic center of our small town, rich in archaeological finds, environmental and cultural resources. After having touched and learned through one of our collaborators the various stages of processing, production and packaging, you can test and taste our oil with small touches of homemade bread.

Moreover, on request, a lunch can be prepared, tasting the typical products that our territory offers, all seasoned, rigorously, with our precious oils and, always on request, there is the possibility of organizing Cooking Lessons, with the ” help of highly qualified chefs of typical Apulian specialties.

©Frantoio Cassese

Why is your oil so special?

Our oil is so special, thanks to the manufacturing process.

The harvest is carried out in mid-veraison, in the period of time between the first ten days of October and the last ten days of December. Then, the oil is stored in underground stainless steel tanks so as not to undergo thermal changes, from the moment of its extraction to the outcrop which lasts about 30 to 40 days, so that it can emerge from the foundations. Finally, the oil is filtered through pure cellulose cartons (genuine cotton wool), always placed in underground stainless steel tanks and stored under nitrogen, in order to ensure the long-term organoleptic chemical-physical qualities of the final product.

©Frantoio Cassese

Via Luigi Einaudi, 14
72029 Villa Castelli (Brindisi) – Italy
+39 338 268 1168 Giovanni Cassese
+39 340 631 1724 Office

About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Writer, book author and magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International magazines.
Digital Content Manager and Communication Manager at "The Wolf Post", since the birth of the platform.

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