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)

Filtered vs Non Filtered Oil | Frantoi
For some years before we started to get to know Extra Virgin Olive Oil properly, we bought our oil in clear glass bottles with a beer-bottle cap and an attractive cloudy appearance. I’m just telling you this, so that you don’t feel rubbish if you have done the same.
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Frantoi - Filtered vs non filtered

Filtered vs Non Filtered Oil

For some years before we started to get to know Extra Virgin Olive Oil properly, we bought our oil in clear glass bottles with a beer-bottle cap and an attractive cloudy appearance. I’m just telling you this, so that you don’t feel rubbish if you have done the same.

 

Of course, we subsequently found out that dark glass bottles are essential to preserve the quality of your oil, as are the highest possibly quality screw caps and ideally bottles of 50cl so that you use them up within a relatively short window, reducing the risk of oxidation.

 

Filtration of extra virgin olive oil is however still something we debate. This is probably because of my background in wine – it’s personal of course, but I like my wines to be lightly filtered at best with a bit of texture and I also enjoy unfiltered wines very much as they reveal more of the true character of the site, grape and vintage. That said, there is nothing I like less than a wine or oil that is faulty. It is wildly frustrating, especially if you don’t have a direct replacement to hand.

 

I’ve talked extensively with Olive Oil producers about filtration and although many of them offer un-filtered oil as an option, the general consensus is that if you want to ship oil abroad then you really must lightly filter to ensure the oil is stable and will arrive in the best possible condition. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is freshly pressed, uncontaminated juice and therefore it is living. And the great thing about modern technology is that very light filtration is achievable without stripping the oil of its qualities or goodness.