Sonnino, in the province of Latina, is a village located on the hills surrounded by 100 thousand hectares of olive groves. This territory has always been suited to olive-growing. Here the oil produced by the company De Gregoris is born. Gregorio De Gregoris, owner of the company, explains: «Our Company is located at Capocroce, where the altitude of the land begins to rise from sea level up to 1090 meters of Monte delle Fate, the highest peak of the Monti Ausoni. Just when the landscape of the fertile Pianura Pontina replaces the hill, there are our olive groves».
After World War II, Giovanni, Gregorio, Luigi, and Antonio De Gregoris decided to bet on land and olive trees, installing the first mill with millstones. In 1963, innovating in comparison with the traditional olives pressing, De Gregoris family installed the first mill working in continuous cycle. It was a real revolution, which was then adopted by other operators in this sector. Luigi’s entrepreneurial skills continued with his sons, who in 1990 rationalized the company by creating a single olive centre, a modern and functional structure, with two lines for a potential milling of 50 quintals per hour.
Not by accident today De Gregoris family can boast of being the oil supplier for the Vatican City.
The green gold produced, decorated with prizes and awards, comes from the optimal climatic conditions of this land, but also, and above all, from the attention to the choice of olives, time and method of picking and processing, conservation and pressing. The olives, which come from 2500 trees planted in 10 hectares owned by the family, are picked both manually and mechanically, from November, are then carefully selected, and immediately crushed by means of hammer crusher and transferred into the kneading tanks, where the olive paste is stirred for about 40 minutes at 27°C. The extraction of the oil, with cold continuous method in three stages, takes place within 48 hours after picking. After kneading, the paste is transferred to the three-phase centrifuge, from which marc, oil must, and vegetation water are obtained. Finally, the last stage in vertical centrifuge is carried out, in order to remove residual water from the oil must and recover the oil contained in the vegetation water.
De Gregoris extra-virgin olive oil, characterized by a well marked colour, green with yellow reflections, presents unique characteristics, such as a medium to intense fruity, balanced notes of bitter and spicy, slightly spicy end. It is suited to enhance the flavour of roasted meats and can be used raw on salads, bruschetta, or carpaccio. Its acidity is very low, well below the threshold for the extra-virgin olive oil.
Gregorio De Gregoris explains: «The taste of our oil is pleasant, with bitter sensations of radicchio that are enriched with touches of white pepper. Its olfactory structure is intense and varied, with notes of cut grass, tomato leaves, artichoke, and walnut kernel. Its flavour, quite intense, reminds eggplant peel. The sensation of sweet spice felt in the final is fine».
In addition to the single variety extra-virgin ‘Itrana’ and certified extra-virgin ‘Colline Pontine DOP, marked by the characteristic hint of green tomato, the company also produces green and black olives of Gaeta in brine and classic cream prepared with olives of Gaeta ,with basil and spicy.