The cultivation of olive in the Siena area has a long history. Olive trees can be noted in works of art and paintings of the late Middle Ages, a period when its presence in the Siena hills was also documented by writers of the time.
The importance of olive cultivation in the territory of Siena has also been attested to by men of culture, such as Repetti, who in 1835 was given the charge of providing the Grand Duke of Tuscany with historical-economic information for the area of the Grand Duchy, and who highlighted the importance of olive growing in the territories of Sienese municipalities both in terms of the rural economy and tradition.
Terre di Siena oil is produced from at least two of the following varieties of olives: Frantoio, Correggiolo, Moraiolo and Leccino. The minimum percentage of any single oil is 10%; in combination they must account for no less than 85% of the total. Other varieties may also be included but they must not exceed 15% of the total.
The colour of Terre di Siena oil varies from green to yellow and undergoes chromatic variation over time. It has a fruity scent and its taste has bitter and piquant hints. The maximum acidity allowed is 0.5%. Olio extravergine di oliva Terre di Siena must be exclusively produced from healthy olives picked directly from the plant no later than 31 December. After harvesting, the olives are stored in specific locales which are cool and ventilated for no more than three days and they must be pressed within 24 hours of their arrival at the pressing facility.
This oil is excellent as a dressing for salads and typical soups of the region based on legumes (bean soup), on ribollita, in traditional panzanella, with raw vegetables or on toasted bread. When used in cooking, it is indicated for roasting or stewing meats as well as frying.
The Terre di Siena oil producing area includes the entire administrative territories of the following municipalities: Abbadia S. Salvatore, Asciano, Buonconvento, Casole d’Elsa, Castiglione d’Orcia, Cetona, Chianciano, Chiusdino, Chiusi, Colle Val d’Elsa, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d’Arbia, Monticiano, Murlo, Piancastagnaio, Pienza, Radicofani, Radicondoli, Rapolano Terme, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Gimignano, San Giovanni d’Asso, San Quirico d’Orcia, Sarteano, Siena, Sinalunga, Sovicille, Torrita di Siena, Trequanda and part of the territories of Castelnuovo Berardenga and Poggibonsi.