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Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Sicily

Our online shop Olive Oils Italy offers you a large selection of cold-pressed olive oils from Sicily. Buy top quality Italian olive oils from renowned Sicilian extra virgin olive oil producers such as Cutrera, Agrestis, Disisa, Titone or Mandranova..

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Is Sicilian olive oil the best Italian olive oil?

Some believe that Sicilian extra virgin olive oil is the best Italian olive oil. It is certainly a matter of taste, but Sicilian olives such as Nocellara and Tonda Iblea are of the highest quality. So is the extra virgin oil from which they are produced.

Sicilian olive oil is one of the best Italian olive oils. Sicily also produces large quantities of organic extra virgin olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oils from Sicily are characterized by their distinctly fruity taste. This ranges from medium to intensely fruity, and is accompanied by hints of herbs, artichokes and green tomatoes.

Which dishes go best with Sicilian EVOO?

These properties make EVOO from Sicily an excellent condiment for rich soups made from pulses such as lentils and peas. It also gives grilled vegetables and fish or hearty meat dishes a special, fresh and tart note.

Simply stir a few drops of Sicilian EVOO into soup immediately before serving, or drizzle over vegetables, meat or fish. Olive oil from Sicily is also ideal for salad dressings and bruschetta. Last but not least, it is an essential ingredient of Pesto alla Trapanese, a variant of the well-known Pesto Genovese.

The latter became known through sailors from Genoa, who docked in the western Sicilian port of Trapani. Housewives and cooks in the city added local ingredients to the recipe - mainly almonds and tomatoes - and of course local olive oil. Delicious!

Excellent Sicilian Olive Oil Producers

Frantoi Cutrera

Frantoi Cutrera has been producing EVO oils In the beautiful hilly landscape around Chiaramonte Gulfi, in the province of Ragusa, for around a hundred years. The oil is made from olives from the 50 hectares of olive groves, which grow at an altitude of 400 metres.

Cutrera’s prize product is the Extra Vergine Primo DOP Monti Iblei, winner of multiple awards in olive oil competitions both in Italy and abroad.

In 2014 alone, the oil (made exclusively from the Tonda Iblea olive variety) received first prize at the IOOA Zurich and "tre foglie" (three leaves) in the Gambero Rosso extra virgin olive oil guide. In total, Frantoi Cutrera has received 150 awards in just 13 years.

Agrestis EVOO

The olive oil producer Agrestis is a little further east, on the Monti Iblei massif. The 50-hectare company founded by Pino and Lorenzo in 2003 has around 6000 trees. These grow at around 650 meters above sea level around the small village of Buccheri, not far from Siracusa. The olives are used to make excellent single-variety olive oils such as Nettar Ibleo DOP Monti Iblei and blends like the Extra Vergine Bell'Omio, both organic EVO oils.

The latter was among the award winners at the Der Feinschmecker Oil Award in 2012 and 2016, and won the gold medal at BIOL International.

Mandranova, Titone, Disisa: Sicilian Oil Mills with a History

The olive oils of the other three top producers that we present on this website come from other parts of the island of Sicily. Mandranova is based in Palma de Montechioro, in the province of Agrigento in south-west Sicily.

The company exclusively produces single-variety EVO oils. Its monocultivars from Nocellara and Cerasuola have won several gold medals at NYIOOC and the Maestro d'Oro Corona.

The extra virgin olive oils by producers Titone from Locogrande, near Trapani in the far west of the island, and Disisa from the province of Palermo in the north, have been award winners at renowned olive oil competitions on several occasions.

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Olive Cultivation: A Cultural Tradition for Millennia

The origins of olive growing in Sicily can be traced back at least 2,800 years. The tradition was probably introduced by Greek settlers who colonized the island from the coast. They founded cities including Syracuse and Agrigento, built numerous temples and amphitheatres, and introduced the cultivation of grapevines and olive trees.

Olive growing had an eventful history under the numerous powers that ruled Sicily in the centuries that followed. Its heyday was during the 400 -year rule of the Spanish Habsburgs.

During this period, Benedictine and Cistercian monks introduced the oil mill. Several technical innovations have been introduced over the years. Today the island has 521 olive oil producers

Buy Sicilian Black and Green Olives

Harvesting of Sicilian olives

Plantation of olive trees in Sicily

When and how are olives harvested in Sicily, and what varieties are there?

Thanks to Sicily’s climate, with its long, hot summers and relatively short, mild winters, the olive harvest begins earlier than on the mainland. It takes place between October and December, with November a peak month.

The first Sicilian olives are harvested in September. The main harvest then starts in October.

The olives are harvested partly by hand, partly by machine. In the first case, the fruits are either picked directly from the tree or removed from the branches with combs or rakes, and caught in nets spread out on the ground.

With mechanical harvesting, special machines are used to shake the trees. This imitates another traditional harvesting method, called brucatura, in which the branches of the olive trees are hit with long sticks.

There is a wide range of olive varieties in Sicily from which EVO oil is made. The most well-known are:

  • Cerasuola
  • Moresca
  • Nocellara Etnea
  • Nocellara del Belice
  • Tonda Iblea

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The oils obtained from these varieties have a pronounced fruitiness, combined with fresh tart to piquant aromas. This makes them ideal for salads, vegetable and mushroom dishes, for marinating fish and for seasoning soups and meat dishes.

How much EVOO is actually produced in Sicily?

Although olive trees grow practically everywhere in Sicily, the island only contributes about a tenth of total Italian olive oil production. In 2017 it was only 9% and 22,400 tons of olive oil, despite a 60% increase from the previous year (2016 was one of the lowest harvest volumes in years).

As in previous years, Sicily ranks just behind its neighbour Calabria. However, both are well behind Apulia, which contributes more than half of total Italian production with 51%

Sicilian Olive Oils with the IGP and DOP Seals

Sicilian Olive Oil PDO and IGP Seals

As with wines and other foods (such as Parmesan cheese), there are EU Geographical Indications for extra virgin olive oil, with which producers vouch for the quality and origin of their products.

These are the Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), in English Protected Designation of Origin, or PDO, and the Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGP), in English Protected Geographical Indication, or PGI.

The Geographical Indications are marked by the round, red-yellow or blue-yellow EU seals. In the case of products with the DOP seal, all production steps, from cultivation and processing to manufacture and packaging, must take place in a specific geographical area and according to a specified procedure.

For IGP products, it is sufficient for only one of the three steps to take place in a specific region.

There are a total of seven Geographical Indications for olive oil in Sicily. In addition to the comprehensive Sicilia IGP, which is for all extra virgin olive oil from Sicily, there are six narrower DOPs - Protected Designations of Origin. These apply to the growing areas:

  • Valli Trapanesi
  • Monti Iblei
  • Valle di Mazara
  • Monte Etna
  • Valdemone
  • Valle del Belice

The olive oils from the named regions of origin differ in terms of:

  • color
  • smell
  • taste, especially the degree of fruitiness
  • spiciness

Monti Iblei: Sicilian olive oil with DOP seal

Let’s take a closer look at one of these growing areas, the Monti Iblei DOP. This is named after the mountain range of the same name, which occupies almost the entire south-eastern part of the island. Monte Lauro and two other peaks reach heights of over 900 metres.

The mountains rise above an extensive plateau in which the rivers Anapo, Irminio, Dirillo and others have carved deep gorges. With its calcareous marl soils, the region offers excellent growth conditions for olives.

Permeable soils and thus good drainage, in addition to a mild, sunny climate, are the basic prerequisites for reliable growth.

The main variety in the Monti Iblei growing region is the Tonda Iblea, which has intensely fruity aromas reminiscent of green tomatoes and fresh herbs. Other important olive varieties are the Moresca and Nocellara.

Frantoi Cutrera and Agrestis, two of "our" olive oil producers, are located in the Monti Iblei.

Organic Olive Oils from Sicily

As for all products from certified organic cultivation, : the use of phosphate fertilizers, pesticides and chemical additives is strictly prohibited for organic Italian olive oils from Sicily. The production of organic extra virgin olive oil takes place after the harvest in special plants in which the organic olives are processed separately from those from conventional cultivation.

Products of certified organic cultivation are easily recognizable by the organic seal of the EU, a stylized leaf in white on a green background.

In Sicily, more and more olive oil producers are moving cultivation and production entirely or partially onto an organic basis. The Azienda Agricola Titone, which has been dedicated to organic cultivation since 1992, is one of the pioneers. Nowadays, their organic olive oils make up 60% of their total annual production of around 10,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil.

The extra virgin olive oils obtained from the varieties Nocellara del Belice, Cerasuola and Biancolilla are bottled under the labels Olio Extravergine Titone DOP Valli Trapanesi Biologico and Olio Extravergine Titone Biologico.

The latter has received two important awards: Extra Gold at BIOL International and the coveted Gambero Rosso “Drei Blätter”.

Agrestis from the Monti Iblei region also offers several organic products. First and foremost is the Nettar PDO Monti Iblei Organic, an organic olive oil made entirely from the Tonda Iblea variety, and the Organic Bell'Omio.

In 2015 the organic extra virgin oil was an award winner at BIOL and achieved 2nd place at the Der Feinschmecker Oil Award.

Cutrera on the other hand offers its Extra Vergine Primo Bio, a single-variety organically cultivated olive oil. The oil is pressed solely from the Tonda Iblea variety, and always comes top at international competitions. Most recently it was awarded the special "Best Organic" prize at the IOOA in Zurich.

On our shop you can find an overview of all the organically produced olive oils in our range, and further information about certified organic cultivation.

Discover our Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil