We still produce the world famous Limoncello di Capri according to the old, original recipe, which has not changed a bit over the years. We still use the traditional method, in full compliance with the heritage and tastes of the Isle of Capri. Following the family traditions Limoncello di Capri is obtained from the infusion in alcohol of Limone di Sorrento PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) peels, in full compliance with the extremely strict technical guidelines.
Moreover, Limoncello di Capri S.r.l. is the only company in the Italian industry that embraces a strict process of control over the whole production thread, from raw lemons to end product.
On the rocks or neat, mixed with other drinks to give them an extra taste, as an ingredient for tasty recipes, on ice cream and fruit salads, in pastry-making and other situations, Limoncello di Capri is at ease with anything and everything. So much so, thanks to its qualities and versatility, it became over the years the “best-selling Limoncello in bars and restaurants, all over Italy.”*
100% NATURAL Limoncello is nothing more than a cold infusion of PGI Sorrento Lemons (Ovale di Sorrento), without any preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colourings and flavourings.*Source: AC Nielsen S.p.A. Canale Horeca AT AS 2015
The “Ovale of Sorrento”, the superior and precious lemon variety, PGI certified for its “good as gold” quality and uniqueness, can be found in the area since the beginning of the 16th century, as stressed in notary deeds, paintings, and literary and botanical essays. Later on, in the 17th century, the Jesuit Fathers started planning lemon plantations.
The “Ovale of Sorrento” is a medium-to-large lemon, elliptical, with a citrine yellow peel, very aromatic, and featuring a rather juicy and acid flesh. The most typical element in the cultivation method is the “pagliarelle”, straw tatami-like panels which are secured to wooden poles – usually made of chestnut – in order to cover and protect the tree crowns from the cold and wind, climate factors that can influence heavily the plantations’ productivity. Such canopy causes a delay in the fruit’s ripening process, one of the key factors in the authenticity of the end product. The “Ovale of Sorrento” PGI is unique and unparalleled, when it comes to aroma, a well-balanced harmony of citric acid and sugar levels, flavour and the high concentration of essential oils.
The PGI certified lemons from Sorrento, used to obtain our “Limoncello di Capri” are bought directly from the farmers, after we have scrupulously selected the fruits, first in the fields during the harvest, and subsequently at the factory, during the peeling process, that gives us the peels that will be infused into alcohol.
Since 2006 “Limoncello di Capri S.r.l.” adopted – the only one in the industry – an integral chain control policy, from lemon to Limoncello.
The Sorrento lemons PGI, used for the production of “Limoncello di Capri”, are bought directly from the farmers, after we have scrupulously selected the fruits, first in the fields during the harvest, and subsequently at the factory, during the peeling process, that gives us the peels that will be infused into alcohol.
The harvesting period goes from February to October, every year. The guidelines for the harvesting of the Limone di Sorrento PGI require a biological rest period from October the 1st to December 31st, every year, aimed to encourage the natural flowering of the plants.
The lemon processing starts with the selection of the fruits and – if they pass – the removal of stems; this phase works as a second selection in case bad fruits were accidentally mixed with the good ones during the harvesting.
The precious Ovale of Sorrento is grown in all the municipalities of the Sorrentine Peninsula – Massa Lubrense, Meta, Piano, S. Agnello, Sorrento, Vico Equense – and on the Isle of Capri, in the “comunes” of Capri and Anacapri.
The technical guidelines protect the fresh produce and define the area in which the first phase of production happens, meaning the produce has to be treated in the same area in which is grown (i.e. Isle of Capri and Sorrentine Peninsula). According to such strict policy, only the ones who produce in said areas can claim the title of “Limone di Sorrento IGP” (i.e. PGI).
The I.G.P. “Limone di Sorrento ” authentication is registered under the Reg. CE 2446/2000 (G.U.C.E. L 281 del 7.11.00) according to the regulations in CE 2081/92.
The authorised monitoring body is currently “Agroqualità”, a quality certification company for the agricultural-food sector.
We choose the agricultural holdings we work with according to a strict control and scrutiny of their cultivation techniques, pruning and harvesting methods.
All the chosen suppliers – whom have to be based within the area of the Sorrentine Peninsula and Capri – need to be certified “Ovale di Sorrento” PGI growers, by “Agroqualità”, e.g. the monitoring organisation that supervises the production methods, according to the EU guidelines, as per regulation CEE n. 2081/92.
Moreover, they need to adopt the traditional cultivation methods applied within the Sorrentine Peninsula and Capri, such as, for instance, the ones about the construction of majestic pergolas made of chestnut poles, by means of the typical “pagliarelle”, aimed at protecting the trees in the winter, from adverse weather conditions.
Limoncello di Capri gives preference to organic farms and holdings (which at the moment account for 25% of our suppliers), using strict cultivation techniques and rules, such as the non-use of pesticides and protection products. This shows, once again, Limoncello di Capri’s commitment when it comes to the environment, as evidenced by the environmental certification UNI EN ISO 14001-2004 achieved by the company, making it one of the few businesses in Italy that can boast such recognition.
The company boasts a double quality certification: one from 1999 in accordance with standard UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 and another obtained subsequently, according to ISO 14001:2004. Limoncello di Capri S.r.l. is also a certified Sorrento IGP lemon processor (certificato I.SME.CERT. N.78).
Moreover, it should be noted that, since the entry into force of the Regulation CEE n. 110/2008, the liqueur typical of Sorrento and Capri was awarded the title of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Therefore the liqueur produced with Sorrento PGI lemons is protected, as well as a few other selected Italian spirits, in accordance with a European Regulation; it must also be produced following the extremely strict guidelines specified on the technical document presented to and approved by the Italian Ministry of State for Agriculture and Food. According to said Regulation the liqueur, in order to be certified, has to be produced following certain standards and parameters, the most important of which are:
The liqueur must be solely made of “Limone di Sorrento IGP”
The whole lemon / litre of liqueur ratio has to be at least 25%
The liqueur cannot contain any preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colourings and flavourings
It has to be produced within the area of the Sorrentine Peninsula or on the isle of Capri
It has to contain at least 30 percent ABV