LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

36 Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There are 36 known polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil belonging to different classes based on their molecular weights and structures. This level of science is researched extensively and if you wanted to dive deeper see some references below*.

 

These compounds, some of which we flag up as individual polyphenols from time to time, not only have nutritional benefits, but also impact the sensory quality and shelf-life of the oil.

Although it is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed directly in its raw state, extra virgin olive oil is influenced significantly by factors such as its terroir (the soil type, the altitude at which it is planted, the proximity to large water masses, the climate, the cultivar) and also the agricultural practices. Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the same – and as you come on this journey with us, you will get to know more about that.

 

Two of the most significant factors determining polyphenol levels are the cultivar itself and the olive maturity at the point of harvest.  When an olive matures, a number of changes occur in the fruit including several metabolic processes which alter the compounds and in turn impact the aroma and taste, the oxidative stability and the nutritional value of the resulting olive oil.

 

This is why we always talk to you about provenance. You need to know who has made your oil and how, what it’s made from, where it comes from. These things make a difference and it’s why we do what we do.  Every time we select an extra virgin olive oil, we have considered each of these factors.

 

*Cicerale et al., 2010. Jolayemi et al., 2016. Condelli et al., 2015. Victor R. Preedy et al., 2020.