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.



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.



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.


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)

Fine food on the Tuscan Coast

It feels as if we haven’t visited the coast in Tuscany enough this year. We tend to love it more out of season than in the heat of the summer when everywhere is pretty crowded and it’s hard to find space to enjoy it fully, so we are now heading in to our perfect beach season. Of course, you have to then check that places are open ahead of time, but we are pretty certain none of the following suggestions will disappoint if you make the trip.


La Pineta di Zazzeri


The incredibly unassuming restaurant La Pineta di Zazzeri which you stumble upon somewhat in disbelief still glows in its Michelin star glitter. Located in Marina di Bibbiona, it’s temptingly close to Bolgheri and there is no better way to conclude a wonderful tasting of fine wine than with a lunch or dinner here.


Il Bucaniere


If you make it to San Vincenzo any time, you seriously need to visit Il Bucaniere because their focus on ingredients is second to none. This restaurant perhaps owes the start of its reputation to Gambero Rosso, but Fulvio Pierangelini should be noted entirely in his own right for the incredible flavours and quality they are delivering. It is sensational.


Ristorante Canessa


Located in Baratti, Piombino in the provincial of Livorno, this is a wonderful fish restaurant that is really worth going out of your way for. You have to book as it’s always full.



And if you wanted to taste the finest extra virgin olive oil on the Tuscan coast, then you should look no further than a tasting at Fonte di Foiano. During the summer months, They have a vegetarian restaurant, which we haven’t yet had the chance to try.