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)

Glossary of Olive Oil Terminology

Many people refer to Olive Oil simply as that and fair enough, we are not pretentious in any way about this.  However, there is some important terminology that helps you navigate the decision making process, so here is a summary of what you need to look out for.

 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL comes exclusively from the olive and is extracted using solely mechanical or physical means in thermal conditions (under 27°C) that do not alter the oil in any way. Among other things, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity and is judged to have a superior taste and no defects whatsoever. It is pure juice.

VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is of slightly lower quality with free acidity up to 1.5% and is judged to have a good taste but may contain slight sensory defects.

REFINED OLIVE OIL is achieved by treating defective or low quality Virgin Olive Oil with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. Oil labeled as pure olive oil or simply olive oil is primarily refined oil with a small percentage of EVOO added to improve the taste.

COLD PRESSED and FIRST COLD PRESS this indicates that the oil was extracted from the olive at temperatures below 27ºC (80.6ºF). 

MONOCULTIVAR most olive oil is made from a blend of different olive varieties or cultivars.  Monocultivar means that the oils is made purely from a single type of olive.  This is likely to allow for a more distinctive or recognisable flavour.

OLIO NUOVO or NEW SEASON OLIVE OIL freshly pressed olive oil, which comes in the early Autumn (if green olives are used) has a greater intensity of organoleptic and phenolic properties: the oil is more flavoursome and is packed with higher concentrations of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols

OLIVE OIL SHELF LIFE extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of around 18 months.  Unlike fine wine, even the very best olive oils do not improve with age.  You should always check the harvest date and if possible the bottling date to give you an indication of its freshness and consumption window.

FRANTOIO this is the Italian word for an olive mill (and Frantoi is the plural of this).  We work with families who own their own groves and their own press, ensuring absolute control and the highest quality focus at every step of the way.