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The Influence of Pruneti Family Traditions on Modern Olive Oil Production

Frantoio-Pruneti

Pruneti’s history is deeply rooted in San Polo in Chianti, with a lineage that stretches back to the mid-nineteenth century. 

How do the traditions and legacy of the Pruneti family continue to influence the company’s operations and values in the modern olive oil production landscape? 

The Culture of our family is deeply linked with our everyday work and with the excellence of our products. Our passion, our love, and our know-how on the product all come from the teachings of our relatives, parents, and grandparents. It is the bond of those with our will for innovation and continuous research in new-edge technologies that permits the legacy of our family to become a collection of EVOO all diverse and full of flavors and aromas, witnesses of our territory, the Chianti Classico.

The Evolution of Pruneti’s Business Focus

Can you describe the evolution of Pruneti’s business focus over the generations and what prompted the specialization in olive oil production? 

Pruneti Olive Oil Frantoio Pruneti Olive Oil

We can go back as far as the mid-nineteenth century and narrate how a numerous family took up residence in this very house that long ago, when Antonio di Tanghe – Pasquale’s son – Pruneti by surname (at least according to the municipal records) decided to leave the “Valle”, a few kilometers away from San Polo, to move to and settle in “Rinforzati”, at the town gates.

There is news of how Tanghe, a skilled mule-driver and woodsman, grew wheat and produced oil, wine, figs and anything that nature bestowed on him, but it was only with the help of Girolamo (his fourth child) that, towards the end of the nineteenth century, he began to sell the products grown on the family plot, setting out for the Florentine markets and selling directly along the road joining Florence to the Arno Valley.

A little later Iris farming began, the bulbs of which were in demand from the biggest and most famous French perfumeries which used it as an essential basis for their perfumes. In the next generation, composed of Natalino and Sabatino the Pruneti farm began to make a name for itself on the market, establishing direct contact with important French companies interested in buying Iris bulbs.

Towards the Sixties, still under the controlling eye of Natalino, helped by his son Gilberto, the farm began to be mechanized and to become more commercial though never abandoning the traditional and faithful mule. In the intervening period, as can be seen from the document shown below, attention was paid to developing vine growing and it was during this period that the first vineyards began to appear with a shift from mixed farming to a specialization of the plots.

Paolo and Gionni Pruneti took over the family business after the third generation. The Pruneti brothers decided to specialize in oil production, paying special attention to each production phase: from recovering old olive groves to choosing the terrain and cultivars for the new ones, from pruning techniques to improving olive pressing and conservation. The choice of widening the oil market, compared with traditional direct sale, lead to the selling of the product in Italy and abroad.

GIONNI & PAOLO PRUNETI Frantoio Pruneti Olive Oil

At the start of the Nineties the recovery of another product began, one that has always been present in the house’s vegetable garden: Saffron.

After twenty years filled with crisis for the Iris market, direct contact with French perfume houses was reinstated in 2001. Interest in Iris and its bulbs has been renewed, yet for us they have distinguished the life of our family for many years. Currently we make nine types of extra-virgin olive oil that differ in their aromas and flavours, yet are all of extremely high quality, created out of the fusion between family experience and culture, new manufacturing systems and the characteristics of the Chianti land. Today we are happy and proud about bringing we have from the beginning.

The Role of Chianti Classico’s Terroir in Olive Oil Quality

How do the specific soil conditions and climate of Chianti Classico contribute to the distinct qualities of Pruneti’s extra virgin olive oils? 

Definitely our terroir is what earliest characterized our products. The composition of the soil, the Galestro, is what meanly gives to our fruits that intense and distinguishable taste, a good balance between bitter of artichoke and spicy of pepper notes.

The mild climate contributes in creating the perfect condition for the olive trees survival, with its seasonal weather, never to rigid but with the 4 season different temperatures and weather.

Frantoio Pruneti Olive Oil Frantoio Pruneti Olive Oil

Decision Process for Olive Oil Blends and Monocultivars

With a variety of olive types, including well-known cultivars like Leccino, Moraiolo, and Frantoio, as well as lesser-known ones like Pendolino and Maurino, how does Pruneti decide on the blends and monocultivars to produce each season? 

The philosophy behind the creation of our Evoo is always a reason of quality. We basically started with the tasting of each different lot of production, that we store in separate silos with nitrogen and controlled temperature all in different cultivars. Then later the idea of making blend is to create oil with a good balance of flavors but in different intensity. Gionni and I perfectly know what profile of flavors each label has to respect, so we established the percentage of each cultivar in order to re-create this certain bouquet.

Speaking about the Monocultivar we select which of the batches produced, of each cultivar, identify the best expression of the flavors and aromas profile of that variety for that specific harvest year. We produce 3 Monocultivar in particular: Leccino, Moraiolo, Frantoio.

The Importance of Flos Olei in the Olive Oil Industry

How important is Flos Olei to the Olive Oil industry, and how does Pruneti’s engagement with or recognition by such guides reflect on your dedication to quality and innovation in the production of extra virgin olive oil? 

Flos Olei is probably one of the most, if not the most, important guide of the extra virgin olive oil worldwide. It’s been more than 3 years that we are now rated in the guide with the score of 99/100 and it represent an enormous accreditation for all our commitment and care we dedicated to the production of our extra virgin olive oil.

FRANTOIO PRUNETI

Via dell’Oliveto, 24

San Polo in Chianti (Firenze) Italy

Tel. + 39 3534054209 – +39 055.8555091

www.pruneti.it

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