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)

Pennita 01, Frantoi
Pennita 02, Frantoi
Pennita 03, Frantoi
Frantoio Pennita, Romagna

Wedged between the Alps and the Appenines, Emilia-Romagna is steeped in culinary traditions. The majestic Po River sprawls across the region separating the Pianura Padana Valley (the agricultural playground of northern Italy) from the undulating foothills of the Appenines as they stretch up towards the Tuscan border. This natural division of the region is reflected in its cooking from the wealthier Emilia, home to the majestic cities of Parma, Modena, Bologna and Ferrara where the cuisine is indulgent, rich, largely pork based and naturally sophisticated, to the western part of the region, known as Romagna, that stretches towards the Adriatic coast. Here Byzantine heritage is found in abundance and the culture is influenced more by the sea than the aristocratic tradition of the courts, so Romagna’s cooking is simpler, slightly wilder and closer to the land.

Pennita, Frantoi

Olive Oil from Brisighella holds its own having been the first Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to be awarded a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in 1996. There are two indigenous cultivars here of interest, the Nostrana di Brisighella, with its distinctive emerald green hue and intense wild herb, white apple and chicory aromas and the Ghiacciola cultivar, which as the name suggests is resistant to the cold weather and features decisive artichoke characteristics. Production is small; here you are very much off the beaten track.

And so we happily found the softly spoken Gianluca Tumidei, who with his wife Alina has owned Frantoio Pennita since the 70s and who farms his 49 hectare estate with great care. Gianluca grew up in the shadows of his impressive father Edmeo and has a humility that is hard to compare. He is a master in his mill, where he works carefully and tirelessly over the winter months to bring us these pure, precise oils that have a distinct mountain feel and true sense of place.
With beautiful bitterness and distinct harmony, these oils are made for grilled blue fish, red meat or game as well as pulses and grain based dishes.

Frantoi Pennita, Map
Pennita cultivars
Pennita Selezione Alina
POGGIO AL MONTE, SELEZIONE ALINA
This 100% Nostrana di Brisighella from century old trees is a rare find. From the chalky slopes of the Romagna-Toscana appenines, this oil has a wildness and minerality that we love. With a long growing season the flavours are bright and intense (green almond, wild thistle) with decisive spice and bitterness making it well suited to accompany fully flavoured fish and meat as well as a spectrum of grains.

Frantoio Pennita

POGGIO AL MONTE, SELEZIONE ALINA
Pennita Valdoleto
VALDOLETO
This monocultivar Ghiacciola has a purity and intensity hard to find. Resistant to the cold, it is often the last cultivar to be harvested and has an intense green appearance as well as decisive green artichoke characteristics, making it a great pair for winter soups and rich pasta dishes.

Frantoio Pennita

VALDOLETO