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 - Mio Olio

‘Mio Olio’: Why people are so attached to their oil in Italy

Since moving to Italy in 2013, we’ve been amazed by how attached people are to their olive oil. The relationship is totally different to ours with oil in the UK – it’s extremely personal.

 

Not everybody produces their own oil, but in the major growing regions, everybody is either related to or great friends with somebody who makes Olive Oil and it is always “the best in the World”. Loyalty runs deep and they go in early December to collect enough oil to last them for the year. Olive oil is such an important component of the Mediterranean diet, used at every meal (even in their breakfast cake) and is a complete part of life.

 

The culinary historian Massimo Montanari states that Romans considered olive oil to be like wine and bread: “symbols of their own identity” because it demonstrated their ability to harness nature so becoming material and mental markers in a sociological sense. If you enjoy reading about food then check out Montanari’s books.

 

To me, the relationship is even stronger than with wine – if you produce your own Olive Oil, you only use your oil (unlike wine, where almost all producers do all they can to taste other people’s wines). Those making serious extra virgin olive oil in the artisanal sense also work extremely manually, pruning and harvesting entirely by hand and often doing much of this work themselves and alone in the cold. Somehow this makes the end result far more personal.