Magazine

Sicily's Liquid Gold

Food & Drink

From around 750 BC, the Greeks arrived in the promised land of Sicily. Along with Hellenic language, mythology and architecture, settlers imported olive trees which have yielded some of the world's finest olive oil ever since.

Thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate, Sicily's olive trees generate oil that accounts for over 10% of Italy's production. It is no surprise that the olive is one of the most important agricultural products on the island and features in countless Sicilian dishes.

Most farmers harvest by hand and there is a growing number of organic oils being produced on the island…

On the south-east coast, between the pretty town of Avola and the charming city of Noto, you will find The Old Mill.

The Club's residency, which was built in the nineteenth century, was once a fully operating olive press mill. It is set within fruitful almond and olive groves and four hectares of land in the protected area of Monti Iblei DOP.

While the four-bedroom farmhouse is now a rural retreat for Members, the estate's olive trees are still cultivated and harvested yearly to create an exclusive extra virgin olive oil made from the Nocellara dell'Etna and Moresca olive varieties.

How olive oil is produced at The Old Mill...

• A team of dedicated gardeners are employed for an autumn harvest
• Sticks are used to shake the olives from the trees and caught by tarpaulins lining the ground
• Olives are carefully separated from leaves and placed in large containers to be transported to the mill
• At the mill, the olives are placed in water tanks to be cleaned
• Once clean, the olives are transferred to crushing machines and oil is extracted
• Oil is tried and tested, sealed in containers to rest and consumable after two months

The Old Mill's olive oil has a distinct fruity aroma with spicy top notes. Once rested, it is sweet liquid gold with a dense consistency. Just one tablespoon will flavour any dish… We'll have a Caponata to start!

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