Azienda Agricola Cuonzo, Bitonto, Bari, Apulia, Italy.
In the sunny Puglia where the blinding white of the dry stone dyke and of the Romanesque cathedrals stands out in the bluest sky, where the green of the olive trees goes as far as the eye can see down to a sea with crystal clear water, right there, in Palombaio, a small village near the city of Bari, the Azienda Agricola Cuonzo has its premises.
In 1970 Franco Cuonzo decided to make his dream come true by starting producing oil in the ancient family villa. Raised and bred in Rome, he used to spend summers in that villa, surrounded by the scent of the soil and fascinated by the songs sung by farmers, that spontaneously made him grow a natural attraction towards such people and places.
The decision was taken and the Azienda Agricola Cuonzo, was born. Run as a traditional family farm, it had about 30 hectares of olive groves immersed in the hills of Bitonto, already known as the ”city of oil”. The old 17th century millstone was equipped with three granite grindstones; Ogliarola and Coratina were selected for the production of an oil that mirrored the passion and the love of Franco towards the land of Puglia.
In 2010 Letizia, Franco’s daughter, joined him to run the business, deciding to espouse the philosophy of the organic farming in order to offer their customers a natural product of the highest quality. A second manufacturing line has been added to the traditional millstone, solely dedicated to the organic production and that works with a continuous process. Furthermore, a photovoltaic power plant has been added to fully respect the environment.
Every year, customers and students visit the oil mill where Franco Cuonzo, with the same unchanged passion, keeps on promoting the culture of oil, while Letizia leads them to guided tastings between the best flavors and smells.