The crusher

The La Rocca crusher, already existing as "trappito" before the tragedy of the 1968 earthquake, which hit the entire Valle del Belice was rebuilt in the early 70s.

Although very shaken by the cruelty with which the earthquake destroyed much of the town of Montevago, which still preserves the ruins of the life of an agricultural time that no longer exists, Domenico La Rocca brave farmer and entrepreneur, had the strength and 'intuition to immediately rebuild the old "Trappito", thus allowing everyone to continue to extract their own oil and above all not to lose confidence in the future.

It remained for a long time the only oil mill in the area, a circumstance that led the sons Giuseppe and Michele to transform that set of boards and plates into a modern oil mill that works with the olives of the Valle del Belice, Biancolilla and Nocellara - recognized as Doc- in monocultivar or in blend.

This activity continues to be constantly enhanced by the grandchildren who have made the La Rocca Oil Mill one of the most important entrepreneurial realities of the Valle del Belice.

Today, the mill is a very modern plant, of the producer Pieralisi, in a continuous cycle for the processing of 40 quintals per hour of olives. The plant allows you to work at very low temperatures, which guarantee the final quality of the oil. The cold extraction process is of fundamental importance if you want to obtain a high quality extra virgin olive oil and avoid oxidation of the product.

After harvesting, the olives are subjected to cleaning by removing the leaves and branches that have been collected with them. After the first cleaning phase they are washed. From here we start the olive grinding.

The next phase is the pressing.The plant allowed to break the olives with modern hammer crushers with a low grilling scheme of gyrations crush the olives on a perforated cylinder.Once obtained the paste of olives, we pass to the second operation the kneading in special kneading machines.

The kneading is a delicate step, which consists in chopping the olives evenly taking care that the temperature does not exceed 27 °C. This allows the fruit, gently pressed, to produce a very high density oil with an intense green color, spicy and herbaceous aroma and a fruity flavor. In this way the volume of the pasta itself is reduced, the emulsions of water and oil which were formed during the pressing break, thus favoring the subsequent extraction phase.

Extraction is the most important operation of all processing. The one used by the La Rocca crusher is a continuous cycle with a centrifuge: the pasta is fed into a decanter (horizontal centrifuge) with two or three outlets adding water at a controlled temperature.

Subsequently we proceed with the storage phase that takes place in silos in stainless steel with nitrogen plant, which prevents oxidation, kept at a constant temperature between 20 and 22 °C.

Finally we proceed with the bottling of the monocultivar Nocellara del Belice (Balàt) and the bland of Nocellara del Belice and Biancolilla (Crimiso).