BELLA DI CERIGNOLA or OLIVO DI SPAGNA – TABLE VARIETY
Bella di Cerignola is a cultivar that produces table oil and olives and is cultivated in a small area in the province of Foggia, for the most part in the municipality of Cerignola, from which its name derives.
This cultivar, currently a member of the Schedario olivicolo Italiano (literally, the Italian olive catalogue), is an ecotype which derives from the mutation of the cultivar Oliva di Cerignola. This multiclonal variety is spread in the plain Tavoliere di Capitanata and allegedly dates back from the 15th century, after the introduction of Spanish ecotypes by the Aragonese; according to other sources, it is supposed to have older origins, being a native variety of the orchites, grown by the ancient Romans. Bella di Cerignola, which is obtained by the clonal selection of the mutant type, has commodity features that are more stable and ameliorative. The influence of pedoclimatic conditions on the tree’s commodity properties makes it possible for the olives (that are produced through the transformation of local production limited to the area of origin and by following production rules and regulations) to be safeguarded by the PDO certification “La Bella della Daunia”.
Medium-sized, quite vigorous tree with a quite dense foliage. It has an erect growth habit and pendulous, fruit-bearing branches. It is sensitive to rot and moth.
It has an early starting age of fructification. Flowering is late and olive-blossoms, for which Termite di Betetto, Sant’Agostino and Mele are good pollinators, have a high percentage of abortion of the ovary (35%). Fruits have a medium and alternating production, they are big and have a compact and stringy pulp with a high yield (70-85%). Drupes, after having been treated with soda, are usually pickled. Picking usually starts after mid-October.