How I wish I was writing to you from a verdant Tuscan hillside surrounded by laughing friends, plucking sun-ripened olives from low hanging branches, tasting freshly pressed olive oil and sipping a bold Brunello… sigh. But alas, like you, I’ll just have to plan a future Mediterranean adventure to celebrate the season of abondanza. So with the glories of freshly pressed olive oils in mind, I’ve gathered together a sampling of wonderful Olive Harvest Tours to stir your inner artisanal spirit.
Harvest Italia 2011 by Spirit of Italy Tours – 11/1-8
This one week tour treats a small group of 12 participants to life on a lovely agriturissmo farm in the heart of Tuscany. There will be olive picking at a 10 acre olive farm, followed by a visit to an olive oil pressing facility where the olives you have harvested will be turned into your own bottle of oil that you can take home. There will be lots of lovely meals, cooking classes, wine tasting and local sightseeing.
Culture Discovery Vacations – 11/5-12
This lively tour combines olive harvesting and milling in Umbria, wine tasting, three half-day cooking classes, a morning soak in the hot springs once frequented by Michelangelo, visit to famed Deruta Ceramics factory, and of course lot of wine tastings and excursions.
Olive Harvest in Italy by Cook in Umbria – 11/1-15
This company offers four day packages with accommodations in a lovely country farmhouse apartment. The tour in celebration of the fruits of Umbria includes a morning of olive harvesting, 3 cooking classes, area wines and excursion to Assisi.
The Passionate Olive – 11/3-10, 11/10-17
These aficionados of everything EVOO are inviting you to be Italian for a week leading two tours to Umbria. Your week will be filled with olive harvesting and processing, visits to ceramic and textile makers, cooking classes, and you’ll attend a truffle festival in Citta di Castello (Tour #1) or a chestnut and wine festival in San Martino (Tour #2), as well as a Spa day at world famous Fonteverde Thermal Spa.
Olive Oil Harvest by A Taste of Spain, on request Nov – Jan
This 5 night, 6 day tour is centered in the Andalusian cities of Seville, Ubeda and Cordova in 4-star hotels. An English speaking olive oil expert will be your personal guide, leading you on a total olive oil immersion with visits to the areas most prestigious oil producers.
Picking Olives in Sicily by Italian Visits, on request
This tour set in the neo-classical 17th Century Villa Ravida in the town of Menfi and hosts small groups from 2 to 8 people. The Ravida family is known far and wide for both their cultivation of olives and production of olive oil as well as cookery classes with many recipes coming from their cookbook The Seasons of Sicily. The area is rich with Greek temples and shrines, including an Acropolis and Hellenic Temples at Selinute. You’ll also visit Marsala to see the Salt Road, Salt Pans and then the Donnafagata Winery.
Anyone want to plan a picking party??