A national favorite in homes and fine restaurants that insist on exceptional quality. The olives for making oil are harvested in November, December, and January, before they are ripe. They are collected by pickers, either with large wicker baskets, or by spreading large nets around the base of each tree and shaking it. As soon as they are harvested, the olives are taken to the frantoio - or mill - where the oil must be extracted within a week. The best oil is produced from olives processed one or two days after picking. The olives are then cleaned in cold water and then crushed. The kneaded pulp is layered on fibrous mats and pressed between huge stones or metal plates. The whole process takes place without using any heat or chemicals! The first oil extracted from the pressed pulp of the olives is known as the first pressing. Most of this is marketed in carious grades under the name virgin olive oil.