FRANCESCO PIRAS FARM COMPANY

OUR HISTORY

Our farm has roots that originate in the depths of the history of our family and our hometown, Alghero, for over 70 years.

My parents, Simone and Forica, began this long journey in 1950, first of all working in the Mamuntanas Olive Oil Company, and after that in the Surigheddu Company, which at the time was one of the largest in the North of Sardinia.
In 1975, thanks to a small allotment purchased some years previously, they began to dedicate themselves body and soul to the cultivation of the land. While my father was busy with the cultivation of olives, vines and dairy products, my mother looked after the home and their seven children. I was still very young when my father began to transmit his love of olive cultivation to me. A love that, in 1976, brought me to be a part in the first co-operative in Alghero in this sector: that was how I began to learn the techniques and develop knowledge regarding the management of the oil mill, the agricultural machinery and the
In 1993, after years of hard work and sacrifice, at last I fulfilled my dream, giving life to the Francesco Piras Farm Company. A business that still to this day has lost nothing of its original spirit, that is of a real family, in which knowledge and experience are passed down from generation to generation, together with the love of this type of work and this magnificent land.

My parents, Simone and Forica, began this long journey in 1950, first of all working in the Mamuntanas Olive Oil Company, and after that in the Surigheddu Company, which at the time was one of the largest in the North of Sardinia. In 1975, thanks to a small allotment purchased some years previously, they began to dedicate themselves body and soul to the cultivation of the land. While my father was busy with the cultivation of olives, vines and dairy products, my mother looked after the home and their seven children. I was still very young when my father began to transmit his love of olive cultivation to me. A love that, in 1976, brought me to be a part in the first co-operative in Alghero in this sector: that was how I began to learn the techniques and develop knowledge regarding the management of the oil mill, the agricultural machinery and the In 1993, after years of hard work and sacrifice, at last I fulfilled my dream, giving life to the Francesco Piras Farm Company. A business that still to this day has lost nothing of its original spirit, that is of a real family, in which knowledge and experience are passed down from generation to generation, together with the love of this type of work and this magnificent land.

 

The Company


More than an industry, our business is a family.
It's not a slogan, but the simple truth.

We began producing olive oil in Alghero, in Sardinia, at the beginning of the 1990's ; it has always been an activity that involves all the family, from the youngest to the most experienced. The various phases of production, the olive gathering most of all, have always been moments of participation and sharing, being together and working together. That is how we have carried forward our tradition.

Nowadays we cultivate over 100 hectares of olive groves in the Alghero agricultural area. As well as the cultivation and production, in 2006 we began the bottling and distribution of our olive oil. And so Corax , our company's brand name, was born. There are five varieties: Fruity, Biological, P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin), Medium Sweet, and Aromatised. In 2010 we obtained the Biological Certification for the processing of olives and the production of olive oil. At the same time, we began to use biological cultivation methods in our olive groves, and after the required three years of transition, in 2013 we began the production of Biologically Certified Corax Olive Oil.

The prevailing variety of olive in our fields is the Bosana olive, very widespread in the north of Sardinia because of its productivity and adaptability. We personally carry out all the phases of production; from the work in the fields, with regular ploughing which guarantees a sufficient aeration, to the pruning, which allows an excellent balance of productive and vegetative activity, up to the gathering and processing of the olives in our mill. The objective is always the same: to obtain a product which concentrates on quality more than on quantity.

 

The Productive Process


Our business is perhaps one of the best in the world, as it allows us to be in contact with the land, our land, practically all year around, and to take care of the fruits that the earth gives us.

The production of extravirgin olive oil requires numerous techniques, stages and knowledge, and it's thanks to our passion that we try to do them all with love and competence. Our oil mill, in fact, combines the ancient knowledge of traditions with the efficiency of state-of-the-art technology. For this purpose, we use Pieralisi machinery, a historic company which supplies the best machinery for the production of olive oil since 1888. As soon as they have been gathered, the olives are immediately brought to the mill, where they are washed and cleaned of all impurities such as soil, leaves and twigs. After that, they undergo the crushing procedure, which presses the olives with the kernels: in this way, we obtain a paste composed of all the vegetable parts, which is ready to be processed.

The kneading is one of the more delicate processes: its purpose is to aggregate the oil particles, emulsified in the paste during the crushing process, to allow the next phase of extraction. To reach a good result in the aggregation, it's necessary to mix the paste slowly and allow it to mature, i.e. allow the oil to emerge over the paste, at a temperature of 27C, which is the maximum temperature for cold pressing. The time needed for cold pressing can vary between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on the variety, and degree of ripeness of the olives.

The presses that we use are horizontal tanks with 700kg unit capacity, covered to avoid contact with the air; they are all made of stainless steel with a lateral interspace, through which temperature controlled water is run, to guarantee the heating of the paste to the desired temperature. The movement of the paste is obtained using a low speed central screw conveyor with a particular blading that consents continuous movement. The central screw conveyor also allows a slow but constant outflow of the paste towards the transfer pump.

The fourth phase of the productive process is the solid-liquid separation, done with a centrifuge or decanter, that can work in "three phases (oil, vegetable water plus added water, pomace oil), in "two and a half phases" (oil, pomace and a little water), and in "two phases" (oil and pomace, without water), as in our case. In the continuous cycle system, the paste passes from the presses into the centrifuge through volumetric pumps. The interior of the centrifuge is made up of a cylinder with a cone of stainless steel, which spins at 2800/3400 revolutions per minute (RPM). The paste-must separation happens here thanks to the centrifugal force which interacts with the differing specific weights of the components. The paste, which is now almost totally devoid of oil but with a 50% water content (sansa), is pushed aside through screw conveyors; the must, however, is sent to the final separation.

For the final phase of the water-oil separation, nowadays vertical centrifuges (separators) are used, regardless of the system of extraction. The principle is that of classic separation through centrifugation of a liquid made up of elements with different specific weights. Our equipment, like the majority of plants, has a separator, which divides the residual water from the oil. The separator continually separates the must into vegetable water and oil, thanks to their different specific weight, and in the presence of solid sediment, it also deposits the residue on the edge of the centrifugation cones.

Once the oil is produced, it is stocked in stainless steel containers of differing capacity (3.000, 5.000, and 10.000 litres) without undergoing any system of filtering (natural decanting). After having confirmed the quality of the oil through chemical and organoleptic analysis, it is then sent to our automated bottling plant for packaging, to be sold with our brand label C

Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Caption Text1 Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia

Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Caption Text1 Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia Slide Olio Corax - Extra vergine di Oliva, Bio, D.O.P. e Aromatizzato - Alghero, Sardegna, Italia