The Queen of Cultivars, Carolea

Calabria has a very rich heritage of olive varieties, some characterized by their ductility (table and oil olives), others by genetic, botanical and productive peculiarities, which represent a worldwide exclusivity.

The queen of cultivars is Carolea, a very widespread variety in Calabria, fundamental for the recognition of PDOs. Lamezia and Alto Crotonese, while the Dolce di Rossano (70%), the Grossa di Gerace and the Tondina (50%), by production specification, characterize the d.o.p. Bruzio in its geographical mentions: “Prepollinica Fascia”, “Valle Crati”, “Colline Joniche Presilane”, “Sibaritide”.

Production Destination:

Dual purpose cultivar

Production areas:


Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone

Biological and Agronomic Characteristics Synonyms:


Distribution areas: present throughout Calabria. It predominates throughout the entire province of Catanzaro; it is widespread significantly in the provinces of Crotone and Cosenza and in reduced percentages in the provinces of Vibo Valentia and Reggio Calabria. Enters the DOP “Bruzio” extra virgin olive oil.
Characterized by medium vigor, it lends itself very well to the mechanical harvesting of drupes, with the use of shakers, and with yields ranging from 80% to 95%.

In traditional olive groves, “Ottobratica”, “Romanella”, etc. are found as pollinating varieties. The veraison is late and gradual, the oiling is early and concentrated, the oil yield varies according to the harvest time.

The productions are abundant but alternating. The optimal harvest time varies from the second half of October to November for olives intended for oil extraction, anticipated by about a month for table olives.

Oil with good organoleptic and sensorial characteristics which overall indicate excellent quality oils.

Approximately 97% of the product is intended for oil extraction and, despite the good product characteristics, just 3% for tanning. The oil yield is on average values.


The plant is of medium height, typically ascending. The trunk is cylindrical, equipped with a pedal rich in ovules and with notable sucking activity.

Vigor: Medium
Habit: Assurgent
Canopy density: Medium


Large fruit, ellipsoidal in shape, asymmetrical, with a mamellowed apical part, equipped with a characteristic clearly visible umbo. The lenticels, on the immature fruit, are large and clearly visible, while on the ripe one they are no longer visible.
Maturation, understood as coloring, is rather gradual and completes rather late (Color at maturation): Black
Veraison (period of): Late
Shape: Elliptical (L/I= 1.25-1.45)
Symmetry: Asymmetric
Max diameter position: Central
Apex: Round
Umbo: Present
Base: Rounded
Weight: High (4-6 g)
Lenticels: Numerous
Lenticel size: Large


The branches are light in color and rather rising, especially in narrow-shape olive groves. Long internodes.

Habit: variable-assurgent
Medium length
Internode length: average (cm 2.24 +/- 0.68) Advance branches: average


Shape: Elliptical (L/I>1.8-2.2)
Symmetry: Slightly asymmetrical
Weight: High (>0.45 g)
Max diameter position: Apical
Surface: Wrinkled
Fibrovascular grooves: On average numerous
Fibrovascular groove pattern: Irregular
Depth of fibrovascular grooves: Medium
Base shape: Pointed
Apex shape: Round
Apex termination: Mucronate

The pulp/stone ratio is 86.21 at the time of harvest


Elliptical-lanceolate in shape, light green in color on the upper side, while on the lower side it is green-grey in color. The leaf is therefore long, not very wide, with the maximum width moved towards the apex, slightly hyponastic.

Shape: Elliptical (L/I < 4)
Longitudinal curvature: Hyponastic
Length: Medium (5-7 cm)
Width: Medium (1-1.5cm)

Chemical-Physical Characteristics

Acidic composition (% +/- d.s.); Myristic acid (%): 0.01 +/- 0.01; Palmitic acid (%): 14.83 +/- 0.91; Palmitoleic acid (%): 1.70 +/- 0.22; Stearic acid (%): 2.83 +/- 0.48; Oleic acid (%): 72.83 +/- 0.68; Linoleic acid (%): 6.04 +/- 0.35; Linolenic acid (%): 0.46 +/- 0.16; Arachic acid (%): 0.44 +/- 0.08; Eicosenoic acid (%): 0.20 +/- 0.12; Behenic acid (%): 0.12 +/- 0.02; Lignoceric Acid (%): 0.08 +/-0.03; Ratio between unsaturated/saturated fatty acids: 4.59 – monounsaturated/polyunsaturated: 11.47 – Oleic/linoleic: 12.07; Total phenols: (mg caffeic acid/kg oil)= 143.6; Resistance to rancidity: 8.9 hours.


The mignola is poorly developed, formed by a main rachis with simple and close flowers, generally simple crossed due to the presence of only one basal racemole.
The flowering period is early, however it fluctuates in relation to different climatic and altitude environments. The average ovarian abortion was 23.41%. Virtually self-sterile cultivar. The formation of pseudodrupes is particularly high. In the interfertility tests the best results were obtained with the “Nocellara messinese”: attachment. 2.30%.
A good pollinator is presumably the wild olive. Average length: Short (< 25 mm)
Number of flowers: Low (< 18)

Organoleptic characteristics

The organoleptic test score was good. The percentage of oleic acid is high. The value of the ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids is medium, while the ratio of monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fatty acids is high. Overall, the total phenolic content is average. Excellent quality oil, worthy of being commercially valorised.

Smell: mildly intense olive fruitiness with a slight odor of other fruit, especially apple.
Taste: delicate, slightly bitter and spicy, with a light almond flavour, slightly sweet.
Medium intensity olive fruitiness with a slight hint of other fruit, strong almond. The taste is dominated by almond accompanied by grass. Bitter and spicy perceived on average.

Soc. Agricola Le Terre della Carolea Srls

Via P. Sgrò 181 – 88025 – San Pietro a Maida (CZ) Italy

Infoline: +39 340 8128408 –

Iniziativa finanziata dal FEARS ——- 

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design: studiorocca