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From Calabria, the first bergamot essential oil of the season 2015/2016, a limited edition


With a cold spring with a low flowering time followed by a summer being particularly dry in 2015, the citrus fruit harvest suffered a 50% drop in volume compared to the previous season, with bergamot being hit particularly hard. This has resulted in the high quality essential oil produced in southern Italy, the only region that supplies Dammann Frères, becoming a truly exceptional product this year.

Less juicy, the fruit has developed a different aromatic palette to that of the first essential oils produced over recent years.

According to our aromatician Aline Guglielmino, its citrus notes are dominated by orange rather than lemon and it is more leafy and floral this season.

Still based on a springtime harvest of Chinese green tea cultivated in Zhejiang province on the banks of Lake Qian Dao, the 2016 blend is subtle and delicate.

Following the story of bergamot, step-by-step

Craftsman production: tradition and excellence

I n Calabria, the fruit is still hand-picked. From November to February, the harvested fruit is sorted and categorised according to where it was grown. This ensures that any differences in fragrance that may be produced are kept separate.

The bergamots that are harvested during the very first days of the season are of exceptional quality. These first fruits are used to produce the very first pressing of bergamot oil which is then reserved for use in Dammann Frères Earl Grey VertPrimeur.

The essential oil is cold pressed from the fresh Citrus Bergamia flesh, using a mechanical process. The fruit is placed in a machine known as a 'pelatrice' (the Italian word for 'peeler'), fitted with cylindrical rollers that prick and grate the rind. During this operation, the fruit is constantly sprayed with small jets of pressurised water designed to wash the rind as well as direct the extracts into a centrifuge where the water is separated from the oil. Around 200 kg of bergamots are needed to produce 1 litre of bergamot essential oil.

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