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with Papa Vince, the cute old man on our label. At 17 he learned the art of making Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) while working as an apprentice for the Knight of De Stefani at the medieval Castello of Rampinzeri, Santa Ninfa, Italy.
Under the Knights' careful guidance, Papa Vince learned the SECRET ART of making what he used to call “MEDICINE OIL.”
As he traveled around the Valley of Belice, looking for the best olives to press for his master, he learned that:
This last fact made Papa Vince very sad. You see:
Before the war, the production of EVOO was extremely labor intensive. It took 48 hours, 3 men and a mule to produce about 1 quart of EVOO. The freshest olives were pressed within 24 hours of harvesting and belonged only to the master. Everybody else had to wait for the master’s harvest to be completely processed before they could use the press to make their own oil. By then the olives were no longer as fresh. Of course, each farmer believed his oil to be the best since they never had a chance to taste their master’s oil. But Papa Vince knew better. He often wondered if this healing, virtuoso oil could ever become available to every farmer.
After the war, the fast advancement in technology made Papa Vince wonder whether a mechanical press would ever be built. In 1964, when he first heard about the mechanical press, he saved fervently until he was finally able to buy one in 1972: the very first mechanical press in the entire valley of Belice. OH BOY, was Papa happy!
Yet, he soon became disillusioned. You see this mechanical press did not produce the same quality extra virgin olive oil he used to craft for the Knight of De Stefani. It overheated and in the process reduced the quality of the extra virgin olive oil significantly. Only Papa could tell the difference.
Since that first mechanical press, many versions and variations of olive oil pressing machines have come on to the market. Each one had its own pros and cons that still didn't make it possible for Papa Vince to craft that EVOO that he used to make at the Castello of Rampinzeri.
That was until he found this new machine that cost almost one million dollars. Papa Vince’s entire family pitched in and together got a loan to make Papa Vince’s dream come true.
This press used different technology, it didn't overheat and it didn't need water to be added, as other presses required 1 liter of water for each kilo of olives. The trouble with adding water is that it washes away some of the precious nutrients contained in the oil.
NOTE: 90% of the frantoios (Olive Presses) in the world still use old technologies that deplete the extra virgin olive oil of its vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients. This explains why many extra virgin olive oils go rancid within 6-month even when bought directly from the frantoio. The shelf life of any extra virgin olive oil is directly related to its level of antioxidants. The higher the level of antioxidants, the longer the shelf-life of the olive oil. ____________________________________________________________________
By using this highly sophisticated technology, Papa was able to control every single stage of the pressing and finally replicate that very same Extra Virgin Olive Oil he used to make for the Knight of De Stefani at the Castello of Rampinzeri.
Papa Vince entered the US market in 2013. Since then, the excitement that our customers share daily through emails, phone calls and in social media has caused us to expand our borders beyond Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
In 2016 we decided to partner with local artisans to bring the highest quality pastas, tomato sauce, vinegar and sea salt, all made in Sicily by with local products.
Once you taste Papa Vince products we are convinced you will become part of our family.
It’s the Italian way – to make friends, with food around the table!
Watch our family making Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the video below. Greetings from all the Papa Vince family!
Papa Vince family member