There are about 14,000 olive trees in Tignale grown on about 125 acres of land. They are still cultivated with patience and tenacity as they have been for years, and at times with the same difficulty for the steepness of the land. Therefore the pruning, digging, watering and picking are all done by hand. The olives are picked in November and December with a ladder (“called scalì”) leant against and tied to branches.
The olives picked by hand from the branches are collected in a basket tied to the waist (“grumial”). Those removed with shears fall onto nets placed on the ground under the trees. The olives are then stored in open plastic boxes and then taken to the olive mill.
In 1766 there were seven olive presses in Tignale, but most of the olives were taken to Gargnano, where there was also the possibility to sell the oil; there they produced about 90 quintals (about 175 cwt). The local method of cultivation was considered outdated because they used little fertiliser, pruned only every three years and in addition the local type of olive trees were very not suitable for the constant production of olives. Through the initiative of the Cooperative Latteria Turnaria now Tignale has its own olive mill.
The equipment was installed and began to function in 1998. It works as a continuous cycle, the centrifuge separates the residue of the olives from the liquid and then the oil is detached from the water. After the decantation the liquid is filtered into another container .
The olive oil produced in Tignale is organic extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality. There are guided tours of the oil mill every Thursday at 5.00 p.m.. In addition, you can buy products from the mill every Tuesday from 10.00 a.m. to 12 midday, and Saturday from 5.00 – 6.30 p.m..