Abstract Stereospecific analysis of the triacylglycerol fraction is an important tool for the characterisation of extra-virgin olive oils. The composition in the sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3 positions of triacylglycerols of extra-virgin olive oils produced in years 1992–1994 in areas characterised by increasing environmental severity (groups 1 and 2, respectively) is considered. This analytical method is based on chromatographic techniques, coupled with enzymatic ones. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) has been applied successively for the differentiation and classification of the two groups for each year according to the positional distribution of fatty acids (palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids) in the glycerol backbone. Even though the data were not very numerous, LDA has allowed a partial or total separation of scores along the discriminant eigenvector according to the climatic groups.