Food & Wine

Soaring costs and extreme weather: Why Europe’s olive oil producers are turning to tourism

Oil makers in Italy, Spain, Greece and Croatia are hoping visitors keen for authentic experiences can offer them an alternative source of income

Maria Angela Macchia is among the olive oil producers turning to tourism. Picture: Bloomberg

Maria Angela Macchia jams a 10-foot pole topped with an electric comb into the upper reaches of a 200-year-old olive tree, and revs the engine. The long-toothed tool, created to extract stubborn fruit from the highest branches, vigorously shakes the crown of the tree, sending a trickle of olives cascading to the green nets below.

To an onlooker, the stream is impressive. But Macchia frowns: the yield is only a fraction of what she got ...