Olive Harvest 2021

It was so rewarding to travel back to Italy this fall to harvest our olives for oil this year. Last year due to Covid restrictions, we missed out and had to hire folks to pick our olives for us. This year’s olive harvest is not good for many, but we were lucky to have a decent amount of olives to pick. Unfortunately, due to a late frost after the olive trees had already flowered and a very hot, dry summer, many in our area have little to no olives to pick this year. We picked over three and a half days, nine hours a day for the first three. We ended up with twenty-six cases of various types of olives, which ended up as eighty-five liters of gorgeous extra virgin olive oil after pressing the olives.

Two years ago, a very modern new olive mill opened up across the street, so it is now very convenient to transport our olives to the mill for pressing. Although we have harvested our own olives for over thirteen years now, it is always an extremely rewarding, though tiring, experience for us.

Foggy mornings for picking. The fog rolled in and out of the valley below us.

Setting the nets on the slopes on day one.

Black olives ready for harvesting!

Sunrise on day two of harvest.

Picking olives is hard work, but at least we have great views while we do it!

Two friends from Naples, Florida arrived on day 4 to help us finish.

At the mill, the olives are getting washed.

The bottling room at Frantoia Fratini. Just look at the color of that oil!

Tasting room at i Potti di Fratini. Anyone can make reservations for an olive oil tasting.

The completed oil as it finishes the pressing process.

Seeing the new oil makes all those hours of hard work worth it!

As soon as we bring our new oil home we must taste it on bruschetta.

Deborah Mele 2021


  1. I’m staying in Spello now and was excited to stumble upon this article – loved exploring the harvest experience you wrote abou.  Looks like your harvest article was on our anniversary (Nov 5!).  I’ve had morning runs around these olive groves which are the most gorgeous early in the morning.

    we will be here until wednesday (Nov 10, driving around umbria). Would love any further recommendations you have – I can’t get enough of the lentils. ❤️


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