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)

Is it time to think of olive oil differently?

The culture of extra virgin olive oil is habitual in Italy and surrounding Mediterranean countries, it’s something you grow up with and is integrated in to your diet from the very start.  That said, there is still very much a regional loyalty to olive oil, almost as if it’s a regional identification.  Undoubtedly, if you live in Greece, you would favour Greek olive oil, but it drills down to a micro level and as such, many Italians use their local olive oil for every purpose in the kitchen.


It’s not a matter of life or death of course and I’m not here to preach in any way, however it’s true that many palates would not favour banana on pizza (yep, it’s a reality) or a really robust red wine with very delicately flavoured food. And so the same can be said for great extra virgin olive oil – not all cultivars work with every other ingredient. It amazes me that many chefs are still tuning in to this, using the most peppery Tuscan oils to make pesto for example, when it totally overpowers the pinenuts and basil. A tasting of a few monocultivars really highlights the differences and that’s the route of everything at Frantoi – offering you the chance to taste different oils, all of which have a very similar philosophy and super high quality, but that really do work better with some ingredients than others.


So, we offer a selection of 3 or 6 bottles from different regions that work with different ingredients. It’s a totally new way to think about olive oil, we appreciate that. And although we’ve spent almost a decade building this dream, we have an absolute mountain still to climb.