Societa Agricola La Mola
The family farm is located in the Sabine hills between Rome and Reiti (Lazio), where olive oil production has been playing a major role in agriculture in the region for centuries.
Anna Maria Billi, along with her daughters Paola and Francesca have been carrying on the family tradition of producing award winning extra virgin olive oils since 1996. The oil labeled, La Mola, (named after the ancient oil mill owned by the family and located on old maps) is part of the production of extra virgin olive oils including Ziro and Sole Sabina. La mola is obtained using ancient and traditional methods, collected manually while still green, and processed by a highly, modern oil-mill the same day as harvested! The oil is not filtered but naturally decanted, so as to maintain its natural properties.
One of the very first Producers that Johnny Madge introduced me to, on our initial search for the finest extra virgin olive oils Italy had to offer, was to the farm La Mola.
We were hosted by Francesca, daughter of Anna Maria Billi, who with her quiet, gentle demeanor belied the fact that her passion for producing exceptional extra virgin olive oils knew no bounds! She gave us a tour of the farm and made a special effort to cook us a fabulous lunch of vegetables and homemade pasta, pairing them well with her premium EVO, La Mola.
During a subsequent visit, we volunteered and spent a day with Francesca and her sister Paola to help with the harvest! This certainly "opened our eyes" as it were; to just how much work is involved in the production of extra virgin olive oil. We laid down green netting across the floor of the olive grove and with "mechanical rakes" the olives fell onto the nets below. The nets were later rolled up to gather the olives, which were then "hand selected" before placing them in large plastic bins. After 4 to 6 hours of this task, you better believe that the work became physically challenging. Then, it was off to the mill, where the large baskets of olives were emptied into the washer.
The milling process was judiciously supervised by Francesca, the washing, sorting, crushing method, and malaxation temperature selected were to yield the beautiful green color with golden shades and wonderful texture of her award winning extra virgin olive oil.
It is difficult to conceive of this day being repeated over and over again for the entire length of the harvest, sometimes lasting 8 to 10 weeks. The day made Tina and I very appreciative of the labor and passion our Producers have in order to make the finest extra virgin olive oils on the planet!