Welcome to Gubler Oil Sicilia

Gubler Oil Sicilia

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About

I have always taken a liking to Stones, Animals and Plants

I studied geology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich and graduated in 1987. I worked in geological offices for 27 years. My two small geological life works include: Mapsheet "Albis" and mapsheet "Hitzkirch" of the Swiss Geological Atlas 1:25'000 mapped including corresponding explanations.

The word "Sicily" has always evoked a sense of 'Promise'.

In December 1991 I visited the Etna for the first time and fell in love with a four-hectare feral piece of land with old vine-growing terraces and a delapidated wine press building. For 25 years I spent my holidays cultivating the land and renovating the wine-press building. Then in 2017 I finally moved with my three Sicilian street dogs and two cats from the Swiss mountains to Sicily on Mount Etna.

My passion are my twenty hectares of land, my olive trees and my olive oil, my oaks and chestnuts, the dry-stone walls, the old wine-press buildings, the restoration of a piece of old cultural landscape. And the porcupines.

My eight dogs and three cats teach me life's invaluable lessons. You can read more about this exchange under the heading 'dogfriendly'.

And if you wish to dig a little deeper into my 'here and now' keep reading...

Observing a box of swifts swooping in the bright, deep blue, late afternoon sky, above the roofs of Linguaglossa in Sicily has been a tremendous experience. In the last few days they have returned from Africa. A whole life's frenzy, played out in the air, never stepping foot on soil below.

Today reaches the last day of March 2019, it is 17:45. Not a sound to be heard, not even in the village. A starling calls out a long drawn out song, he also has his winter quarters on my roof. The laurel tree blossoms. During the day, when the sun shines, it is full of buzzing bees. Here and there a dove flies by in a hurry. And I hear the mellow sound of the tower jackdaws that live in the holes in the wall. Sublime. About me and my internet profile, this column is about me.
Me: Cats; there's always one close by, Tigitigi is still a foundling cat from Switzerland. Dogs, there are eight in total, all from Linguaglossa, stray dogs. Dana, Fiar, Cetti, Leon with his foster mother Trente, Cesare with his sister Rosy, who disappeared without a trace a few months ago, and the unseparable friends Emma & Tina. Thousands of oaks on 19 hectares of land, many chestnuts, dozens of elms, nine black pines, five pines. Holm oak, wild cherry, sorbus, a maple, about 500 olive trees, hazel bushes, fig and almond trees, pear and apple trees. A pomegranate bush. Quinces, medlars, tree nuts, cherries, apricots. Mulberries. Prickly pear. Mandarins, soon also lemons and kiwi.
Immerse yourself in the old cultural landscape with its terraced mountains from the valley to the highest ridge, overgrown mule tracks paved with stones, delapidated wine-press buildings. After the war, the steep, labour-intensive country was abandoned. Many emigrated to Australia, many in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.

Sicily, the magic inherent in the place and in the word. Archaic and anarchic despite EU varnish, rough, wild, beautiful. A long history.


I am a geologist and love landscape and even more I love trees and forests. In 1992, I took care of the first piece of land on Etna that had been damaged by countless fires laid by people. Where there was wasteland, today in summer I walk in the shade of oaks and chestnuts.
The silence, the power, the magic, the history and the beauty of this land with its trees, plants and animals, that I open to you. Di tutto cuore.

 

LEARN MORE

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olive oil sale

The sale of olive oil enables the cultivation of the olive groves and the preservation of a magnificent cultural landscape. Three regular employees find work under generous conditions for four months a year. The production costs for a litre of high-quality olive oil amount to around 30 francs. In addition to wages and insurance for the workers, there are fees and taxes for the company, for security and external accounting, for the oil press, for BIO certification, for equipment and fuel, transport, etc. For pricing see guest commentary "Olive oil - Quality has its price" in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung of 15.11.2018 (pdf below). I sell the olive oil "ex farm" in the following confections and at the following prices:

  • dark glass bottle ¼ Litre: 12 Fr.
  • dark glass bottle ½ litre: 18 Fr.
  • white steel canister 5 litres: 150 Fr. (30 Fr. per litre).

Mindestbestellmenge und Kosten bei Lieferung in die Schweiz oder ein EU-Land:

  • 0.25 l bottles: 10 pcs. (2.5 l olive oil, weight 5 kg). Costs: Oil 120 Fr. + forwarding 25 Fr., tot. 145 Fr.
  • 0.5 l bottles: 6 pcs (3 l olive oil, weight 5 kg). Cost: oil 108 Fr. + forwarding 25 Fr., tot. 133 Fr.
  • 5 l canister: 1 pc. (5 l olive oil, weight 5 kg). Cost : Oil 150 Fr. + forwarding 25 Fr., tot. 175 Fr.

For a delivery to Switzerland, the costs for the courier service and Swiss customs depend on the quantity ordered. For deliveries to an EU country, customs duties are waived. The costs of the courier amount to between 2 and 5 francs per kilogram depending on the quantity and will be charged directly to my account. The Swiss customs fees of around 2 francs per litre of oil, on the other hand, are charged directly to the customer. If you order larger quantities, I will be happy to give you a discount. Orders can be placed by e-mail at "info@gubleroil.it". The dispatch takes place after previous price arrangement and receipt of the invoice amount on the indicated bank account (IBAN). I am looking forward to delivering your order!

olive oil costs

The olive
trees

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Some 500 olive trees were planted after the abandonment of viticulture 50 to 70 years ago in steep terraced terrain with dry-stone walls. The main olive varieties represented are Brandofino (Randazzese), Nocellara Etnea and San Benedetto, indigenous to Etna, and subordinate to Coratina, Frantoia and Nostrale from the mainland. The trees grow in six small groves, which together cover an area of slightly more than two hectares. The groves are spread over 11 hectares of land between 500 and 600 metres above sea level. The embedding in a near-natural landscape with oak forest and species-rich rough meadows promotes health and resilience. The olives ripen in a landscape of biblical beauty overlooking the majestic 3350-metre-high Mount Etna.

The olive trees are treated with the utmost respect and care. It is not the yield and the comfortable harvest that are in the foreground, but the health and beauty of the proud trees. There is neither fertilization nor the use of pesticides. My farm has been registered with Ecocert Italia for organic certification since 2018, but it still needs two years of patience and controls before it is expected to be ready in May 2021. The mechanical soil cultivation with bare soil in the olive groves, which is still common in Sicily, is in my azienda not used. In order to prevent fire and combat blackberry bushes, the herb layer, which is already dry at the end of June, will be mown even with a thread mower. This also mulches the soil, protecting it from the hot sun and from soil erosion during the first rainfall in autumn. The interaction of the six olive groves, which grow in different locations, with the different olive varieties mentioned above results in an inimitable olive oil that characterises the Valle d'Oliva. It goes without saying that the olives are harvested by hand at the right degree of ripeness and that they are brought daily to the modern olive press, cleaned of leaves and twigs. Chemical analyses and sensory tests show an excellent olive oil, which reflects all the magic of the Valle d'Oliva with its view of Mount Etna.

ETNA

The incomparable smell of this black-brown, sandy-stony earth. Lavafields, yellow blooming, fragrant broom, oregano, gnarled oaks, leaves rustling in the wind, bee concert in blooming chestnut trees. Breathtaking beauty and dark horror, close together. And wherever I stand: Etna points to the sky. One understands - nothing is here for eternity. For this text the geologist has jumped over his shadow
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Dog
Friendly

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Dogs are my life
Guests with dogs

Guests with dogs are very welcome. Directly adjacent to the accommodation in the old winepress-building is a 400 m2 large, escape-proof fenced area for your four-legged friend available. In the shade of olive trees and in a cooled concrete shelter the summer heat can be endured well. Between the olive trees two wooden boxes of 4 m2 each protect against wind and weather. Would you rather leave your dog "at home" during an excursion? I will gladly take care of your darling.

My dogs and cats
Over the years eight dogs have found their way from the street to me. There is always a big portion of chance and luck in the game - for both sides. Three of them got to know the Swiss mountains and paid their local dog taxes before they returned with me to Sicily three years ago. My dogs and with them my Glarner foundling tomcat Tigitigi as well as the two runaway tomcats Pedro and Ernesto form my family. They accompany and enrich my life. And last but not least they teach me life. In the morning after the feeding them at my home I bring the dogs into a furnished, large, beautiful area, tailored for them. At the end of the day we do a long free run lap in the hills behind the village and then drive home for evening feeding and the night back to the village.

Donations and sponsorships
I also engage in animal welfare work in my village; be it that I support a local animal welfare organisation logistically or financially over and over again, be it that I also repeatedly take in "dog emergencies" until an adoption is found. Donations and takeovers of sponsorships are therefore highly welcome. Just once I went over the books: The livelihood of my rescued protégés alone costs 5'800 € (6'670 CHF) per year. The construction and furnishing of the dog areas cost 20'000 € without buying land.

  • A dog needs 500 € (575 CHF) per year for food, a vaccination and two flea collars and without extras. This corresponds to 1.60 CHF per day.
  • A cat needs 600 € (690 CHF) per year for the same. This corresponds to 1.90 CHF per day.

REFUGE

In Sicily, on the slopes of the active Mount Etna Volcano, there is a small enchanted green oasis, a timeless space amidst old olive and chestnut groves, mighty elms and stocky oaks, fragrant herbs and shrubs. It is the private retreat of Thomas Gubler, a place in nature, where the rural charm does not restrict and set limits, but rather enables you to get away from everyday life and dive into an unfathomable dreamlike quality of nature evoking spirituality. 12 hectares of shimmering air, glistening light and silence, a dilapidated mill ducked in the shade of trees invites you to a meditative retreat, five old ruins of antique wine-press buildings line a quietly rippling brook, one of which has been moderately renovated to meet the demands of the guests, always maintaining the special atmosphere of simplicity and deep respect for nature, the basis of every decision made by Thomas Gubler in this enchanting spot of land. The whole farm (producer of organic olive oil) is at the guests' disposal, whether in a tent on the highest point of the estate, at night under the stars, close enough to touch, and the singing of the nightingale, during the day with a little luck accompanied by the singing and chirping of the colourful feathered bee-eater, the warmth-loving hoopoe with the long feathered bonnet, or the magnificent yellow oriole. Or you can set it up, further down in the valley in the small, lovingly and ecologically sustainably restored former wine press house with the fig tree in front of the stone doorway. Nothing here distracts or rises above nature, it is a place for comprehensive well-being, for contemplation, body and soul, for tracking down longings, a place for letting go and absorbing very close personal feelings. This is the refuge of Thomas Gubler, a small romantic idyll made to share and experience creative relationships between man and nature, in the sign of a Mediterranean hospitality with many characteristics and subtle nuances, from discovering this very special rough and lovely landscape, its surroundings and the unadulterated, authentic Sicily.
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Contact

Postal Address
Via Armando Diaz 3
95015 Linguaglossa CT

Phone: +39 33 18 33 93 53
Email: info@gubleroil.it

 

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