The cultivation of olive trees in Versilia (Tuscany) and in particular in the Quercetana plain, has had over the millennia a primary importance in the local economy, also giving precise characteristics to the landscape. In the Middle Ages, the Piana di Querceta, thanks to its morphological conformation (it is a plateau), did not suffer the phenomenon of swamping like the other coastal areas of Versilia and largely retained the traditional olive crops, also the object of dispute between Pisa and Lucca who faced each other in a terrible battle on this very territory. In fact, the Versilia oil was used by the Pisans as a bargaining chip for their trade with the Arabs and even had the value of money.
The Quercetano olive tree is a vigorous plant with a characteristic upward trend of the trunk and with young pendulous branches. The leaves are long and narrow, with a bright green color. The olive is small, with an ovoid shape slightly elongated at the tip. This variety has always been used mainly for the production of oil. Its productivity is not always constant, good years are followed by very poor years but the quality of the oil is always excellent.
The Quercetana olive, due to the small size of the olives and the unfavorable pulp-stone ratio compared to other varieties, is attacked late by the olive fly and therefore allows for better quality to be obtained with the same harvest date.
The oil has a clear or slightly hazy appearance and a golden olive green color. It is medium fruity and delicate, with the right balance between bitter and spicy, rich in scents that recall fresh cut grass and aromatic herbs.
The centuries-old Quercetano olive groves are today facing extinction: tourism-related urbanization is quickly reducing the area on which the trees are grown, leading to the disappearance of ancient olive groves and meaning that those that survive are restricted to small pieces of land between houses.
Today, Quercetano olives are grown on only around sixty plots of land. In the past, some producers stopped growing Quercetano olives and replaced them with other olive varieties with better yields.
Pure Quercetano olive oil is rare and produced by a handful of olive growers.
The Presidium has led to the creation of an association, bringing together producers who are preserving the historic olive groves and producing single-variety Quercetano olive oil. Production adheres to the principles of organic farming, made easier by the fact that this variety is naturally highly resistant to the main olive diseases.
There are also other small-scale land owners who have a few Quercetano trees, but not in sufficient quantities to enable individuals to produce oil for sale on their own. The aim of the Presidium is to encourage them to harvest and press olives together.
Municipalities of Camaiore, Pietrasanta, Seravezza, Forte dei Marmi in the province of Lucca and Montignoso and Massa in the province of Massa Carrara.
The olives are harvested from October and the oil is sold from November.