What traits should a company nestled in the Nera River Park, set against a backdrop of mountains and secular forests, have? More or less those of Bartolini: respect for the environment with an unconditional trust in the dictates of organic farming, raising free-range livestock left out to pasture to roam freely throughout the year, consequently making their own fertilizer for the olive groves and crops of grains and legumes. This sort of microcosm has come to life in Arrone, a place that is entirely self-sufficient and in harmony with nature, whose fruits are carefully examined. They produce their own extra virgin olive oil, the production of which is closely tracked, drop after drop. The courteous and discreet hospitality of the Bartolini family at the farmhouse inn and guest house of San Lorenzo completes the rest of the offering.
In Umbria the cultivation of olive trees has ancient origins, starting from the Etruscan age, and it has always been associated with a simple and harmonious lifestyle, that follows the rhythms of nature. That is exactly on the Umbrian hills that in 1850 the history of Frantoio Bartolini started and it has been based on the family business for six generations. Our firm started as a small oil mill with animal-drawn machinery and over the years it grew and increased the production, always maintaining the direct control of the production chain of its products. It is thanks to the traceability of the production chain that a lot of Bartolini’s products can boast the “Umbrian” name of origin.
In the breathtaking area of the wildlife reserve of Fiume Nera, in a setting of mountains and ancient woods, Bartolini’s farm is placed. Here we cultivate the olives, the legumes, the cereals, and on the higher part, where there is the wood, we breed cattle in the wild and we dig up truffles. Respectful of the environment and sensitive to it, we are at the forefront of the cultivation of organic products and we work so that the agricultural productions are free from chemical treatments. Our cattle helps us to do this, providing us a natural fertilizer that is useful for our cultivations, allowing us to close the cycle of organic cultivation.
The olive tree cultivation
The lands where there are our olive trees and our plantations of legumes and cereals extend over a wide range of foothills and they are cultivated with no special measures of defense of productions. Thanks to their position and the favorable weather, our land enjoys optimal conditions to be run according to natural methods. As in the rest of Umbrian campaigns, our main olive qualities are “Moraiolo”, “Frantoio” and “Leccino”: all three varieties have excellent organoleptic properties and they give the oil a unique flavor. During the months of November and December the olive harvest is carried out through hand picking. This is the best method of harvesting, even if it is also the most expensive one, because the olives do not suffer any damage.
Oil-press and bottling
To obtain a high- quality extra virgin olive oil, it is important to respect specific criteria during the milling of olives. In fact, this is one of the most delicate steps of the entire production process. Milling operations need a short time from the moment of the harvest, 12 hours at most, in order to fully preserve the freshness of the fruit. That is why we mill our olives also during the night.
The cultivation of legumes and cereals
In our land, which is difficult to cultivate because of its unevenness, we seed legumes and cereals. Their processing requires skill, passion and knowledge of the right times, but this devotion rewards us with high- quality products. With this selection of legumes and cereals, we offer a range of traditional products, being careful about nature and an accurate and respectful agriculture.
After our legumes and cereals are harvested, they are immediately cleaned. In our mill, we use a modern stone grinding plant that, working at low temperatures, fully preserves the properties of cereals. We obtain an excellent flour with high-quality nutritional qualities, that presents an irregular granulometry, a high concentration of bran and a total conservation of the germ.
Pasta factory and packaging
Pasta is a product made of few, simple, selected ingredients. Its processing has to be skillful, according to custom. For our pasta we use mixtures of highly-selected durum wheat, produced in our areas, and spring water, which contributes to taste and improves its consistency during cooking. The bronze drawing gives the right porosity and “keeps” the seasoning more easily. The non-perfectly regular cut of pasta guarantees its artisanal processing.