The rich soil surrounding the base of Mt Etna, Sicily, is the origin of the trees of Bondolio. The Bonds rely principally on the renowned Nocellera fruit, but the Bonds have also selected to two additional Sicilian born varietals to field blend for milling, and a fourth varietal to act as the pollinator, but not harvested for its oil content. All four varietals have an ancestral lineage that can be traced to the Greeks who brought these trees to Sicily in a time that most likely pre dates the birth of Christ. Together, for the first time in California, these varietals reveal their unique heritage in Bondolio.
The quality of oil produced by the Bonds is due in no small part to the Sicilian like warm Summers, semi arid conditions and rich soil of the western edge California’s San Joaquin Valley. A few examples of the natural landscapes of Sicily and California are the flora of prickly pear cactus, palms trees, and eucalyptus. It might be the trees of Bondolio are comfortable in their surroundings.
The spirit of the Southern Italian and Sicilian family farming methods have been documented by the Bonds and are followed closely to preserve the true heritage of these remarkable olive trees.
The layout design of the orchard is not the typical high density found with most olive farms. The trees of Bondolio follow the spacing patterns of the old traditional Southern Italian layout with more than 20 feet separation of trees and rows. Next, the trees are precision pruned with a focus on the center to open each tree to full sun and air circulation. These methods allow not only for maximum sun and fresh air to penetrate and nourish the trees and fruit but also they act to minimize the possibility of introducing pests that can bring damage to the fruit.