As well as that of the vines, also the growth of the olive trees in the Euganean Hills has ancient origins. It is believed that in the 14th century an oil-mill centre already existed and during the first years of the 20th Century the olive presses active in the territory were 8, at least. One of the most important olive estates is that of Villa Contarini, in Valnogaredo. It counts more than 1.000 olive trees, some of them are 400 years old.
Various kinds of olives grow here, for example the typical Rasara and Marzemina or the Leccino, Frantoio and Pendolino, imported more recently. The best quality of the oil is obtained with the native olives, so the investments to gain for the oil the DOP recognition have followed this direction.
The oil extraction is still obtained with the tradition equipment, made of millstones and hydraulic presses. This process is fundamental to preserve the natural elements of the oil and to give it a balanced bouquet, not too bitter, neither too spicy, with an aftertaste of sweet almonds. Moreover, the acidity of the oil is low: 0.2-0.3 %; the high quantity of monounsaturated fats (80%) and the low percentage of peroxides make it easy to digest. Thanks to these characteristics, it goes well with fish, vegetable and pasta dishes. The extra-virgin olive oil is produced all over the Euganean Hills, but the areas with the highest production are Arquà Petrarca, Cinto Euganeo and Galzignano.