CULTIVAR

 

There are around 800 different Olive Cultivars in Italy alone, many of which are used for Olive Oil. Similarly to grape varieties in wine, the Olive cultivar influences the flavour profile of your oil.  Different cultivars, depending on size of fruit, thickness of the skin, composition of the pulp can produce different yields, varying concentrations of anti-oxidants and overall different quality levels.

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)

TUSCANY

Frantoio Fonte di Foiano

Fonte di Foiano is located in the highly prized winegrowing region of Bolgheri on the Tuscan Coast. Flanked by the star-studded names of Sassicaia (Tenute San Guido) and Ornellaia, these soils by now have a proven track record and insanely high pedigree. However, back in the 70s when this understated olive farm was established, the Di Gaetano family were amongst the first to see the potential of these soils. You find plenty of olive groves peppered amongst the vines in these parts and naturally, the resulting oils are good, aided by this unique maritime microclimate with constant sea breezes that moderate the temperatures throughout the year. However, it takes, as we know, complete dedication to fine Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make something truly outstanding and that is why we are working with Fonte di Foiano.

Fonte di Foiano family

Now in the hands of brothers Paolo and Simone Di Gaetano, Fonte di Foiano moved in to the uber-league when they made the decision not to allow anybody else’s fruit in to their Frantoio in 2008. This tough decision required sacrifices, but it has reaped its rewards in terms of quality.

With 29 hectares of groves at altitudes ranging from 50 to 150m above sea level, the Fonte di Foiano soils are complex and myriad thanks to their marine composition. The cultivars include Frantoio, Moraiolo, Ravece, Maurino and Picholine and they work extremely attentively in the groves to ensure only healthy, green olives come to their mill.

Equally as attentive in the frantoio, they work with a state-of-the-art Mori press and follow the journey of their olives with extreme care. We have selected three of their oils that we believe represent the best of what they do. Having tasted the Fonte di Foiano oils for years and saying how wonderful we think they are, it’s a real joy to be offering them to you from the 2022 harvest.

Fonte di Foiano location
Cultivars_Foiano
GRAND CRU
A bitter and spicy monocultivar Picholine, this decisive oil features artichoke, wild chicory, and an abundance of wild herbs ranging from mentuccia to rosemary. It has bitter black pepper on the finish with notes of cinnamon and almond. This oil works extremely well with octopus and clams as well as a host of other shellfish.

Frantoio Fonte di Foiano

GRAND CRU
1979
1979 is the year in which Michele Di Gaetano set up Fonte di Foiano with his wife Marina. Monocultivar Leccio del Corno, a local cultivar known for its small green olives. Relatively floral in character it features freshly cut oregano and sage leaf but has a lovely intensity on the palate making it a great pair for earthy mushrooms or grain based dishes.

Frantoio Fonte di Foiano

1979
RIFLESSI
This monocultivar Maurino is delicate and bright with notes of lettuce leaf, almond and a hint of black pepper, making it a great pair for salads, potatoes or a simple risotto.

Frantoio Fonte di Foiano

RIFLESSI
ZEFIRO
The first to be pressed each year, this beautiful oil is a monocultivar Ravece, combining finesse and potency in equal measure. It features a senior selection of herbs on the nose with artichoke leaf and green almond. It is a monumental example of its type and has extremely high polyphenol levels.

Frantoio Fonte di Foiano

ZEFIRO