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)

Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva
Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva

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Frantoio di Riva, Garda

Mountains and water: the two defining influences on the climate of lake Garda. Riva del Garda lies at the northern tip of the lake and is sheltered from the weather that seeps down the foothills of the Alps, it is impressively beautiful. The vast lake (Italy’s largest) moderates winter temperatures and as such, despite its northerly location on the 46th parallel, the climate and subsequent vegetation are typically Mediterranean. Capers, citrus fruits, grapes and olives are well at home.

Frantoi - Frantoio di Riva

It is hard to believe that when I visited in late April to taste and source olive oil that the weather resembled late November… in the north of England … It was seriously wet. It felt as if it would never be dry. Water was everywhere. Rain on mown grass. Rain on warm stones. Rain on dry earth. When you live abroad, such aromas are nostalgic and evocative, transporting you to familiar home turf. It also struck me that these same aromas are remarkably representative of the olive cultivar Casaliva.

In its purest and highest quality expression, Casaliva features cut grass, wild hedgerow herbs such as chicory and dandelion, minerality and a very slight hint of citrus. This is cool climate extra virgin olive oil.  Best suited to dress salads, especially lettuce based and also a fabulous condiment to fresh water fish. It does not feature the spice or bite of cultivars typically found further south, comparatively it is milder, with a lighter body weight and great purity.

The team at Frantoio di Riva stands out for their technical approach to making oil (every single atom is analysed and evaluated) and for their exemplary attitude towards sustainability. Not only do they produce organic olive oil, but they take care to prevent any waste – the nocciolino (olive stone) is used as fuel to heat water or sold to local residents to heat their houses, the skins are used for a wide selection of innovative olive products and even the water is purified and separated so that it can be re-used rather than wasted.

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Frantoi - di Riva
Frantoio di Riva white
46° PARALLELO ORGANIC WHITE LABEL
This blend of 80% Casaliva, 15% Frantoio and 5% Leccino is elegant and fresh, incredibly bitter, featuring radicchio, chicory and green almond. It is fantastic on fruit or pulse-based dishes (salads with orange or peach, slow cooked dishes with raisin or apricot for example).

Frantoio di Riva

46° PARALLELO ORGANIC WHITE LABEL
ULIVA GARDA TRENTINO DOP
From century old trees on the banks of Lake Garda, this blend of 95% Casaliva and 5% Frantoio has a touch of artichoke, runner bean and complex wild herbs. It has a softer flavour than 46° Parallelo with less spice on the finish. Particularly good for lake fish, on salads, with tomato-based dishes and to dress potatoes.

Frantoio di Riva

ULIVA GARDA TRENTINO DOP