The Partegal Mill dates back to the 14th Century. A Roman aqueduct powered the water wheel activating the wooden gears of the millstone. In 1939 the RICCA family took over the mill and reopened it.
Mr Fernand Ricca employed 8 workmen and the water wheel and the aqueduct were reopened with two teams working day and night.
Inside the mill, was an olive vat, and 5 olive-presses which were activated by the workmen. Disks known as 'scourtins' made of jute or coconut were filled with olive paste and stacked on the presses. The scourtins were then crushed by the millstones.
In those days, the oil was extracted by the kneeling workmen who used 2 instruments: a 'casse' (a 2 litre tin pan) and a 'feuille' (a curved plate to scoop up the residue on the water's surface).
In 1936 each owner paid a contribution known as 'la mouture' to the mill. The tradition of 'la moture' continues to this day. The by-products produced when the olives are pressed have many different uses. The skin and the pulp was pressed for a second time and used to produce 'Huile de Recense' which was then sold to soap manufacturers to make Marseille soap. The white grounds (washed olive stones and spring water) were resold to millers who made flour which was then sold to bakeries.
The mill is traditionally like the village café or the communal wash-house, a place of Southern sociality, where people chat with the miller and occasionally glance over at the new arrivals bringing their olives.
Enjoy our exceptional olive oil