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 - Paolo Cassini
Frantoi - Paolo Cassini
Frantoi - Cassini
Frantoi - Paolo Cassini

Buy fresh from Frantoi

Frantoio Paolo Cassini, Liguria

Liguria, home of the Taggiasca olive, cultivated largely on incredibly steep slopes that stretch up from the coast towards the Alps. The landscape is arresting – a backdrop of striped hillsides, layered with tiny terraces on which you find Olive trees and a selection of other fruits, herbs and vegetables. It is a patchwork of small-holdings. There is just enough influence of France in the local culture, but the cuisine is largely Italian and Olive Oil rather than butter is the norm.

Amazingly, less than 1% of Italian Olive Oil is produced here, which is surprising when you think that this is where Pesto comes from. It appears that many farmers have opted for the more lucrative option of selling their Taggiasca olives to be eaten (in salamoia) rather than making oil. Sadly, it rather feels as if olive oil production is a fading art in these parts. Then you come across Paolo Cassini.

Frantoi Paolo Cassini

Paolo and his family live and work just outside Isolabona, around 15km from the coast right up by the French border. Like his father and grandfather, Paolo has committed his life to making the very best extra virgin olive oil possible, solely from the Taggiasca cultivar. He believes firmly that the results begin in the grove, he is highly acclaimed for his pruning skills and takes care of his trees as if they were children. He owns 1,300 trees and cares for each one personally. His frantoio, originally built by his father in 1962 has been constantly upgraded and is impeccable. I can’t tell you how impressed I am by the Cassini family’s dedication and attention to detail. It is a small business, everything is done by hand and we feel extremely proud to work with them.

The Taggiasca cultivar is a small, sweet olive and at its best produces an elegant, mild and more delicate style of extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t want too much spice in your oil, then this is certainly for you and that is why it’s a great choice for children who generally opt for more delicate flavours. These oils make a great pair for fish, steamed vegetables, white meat and are brilliant for salsa, pesto and mayonnaise.

Paolo makes just three olive oils all of which have won a plethora of awards.

Frantoi - Cassini
Frantoi - Cassini

Frantoi - Paolo Cassini
S'CIAPPAU (HATS OFF)
Typically mild and delicate featuring wild fennel, cut grass and a hint of green almond, this EVOO is a favourite of ours for dressing salads, making salsas or mayonnaise and of course, as it's Ligurian, for making pesto. It is perfect over green beans, potatoes and asparagus.

Frantoio Paolo Cassini

S'CIAPPAU (Hats off)
Frantoi - Paolo Cassini
EXTREMUM
From a single grove of 400 trees, typically just 1,500 bottles of this nectar are made each year. It has a fabulously uplifting aroma of cut grass, pine nut and almond is super fine and elegant yet has a complexity and concentration that lasts to the finish, which is saline and lightly spicy. This is made for shellfish and fish carpaccio or tartare.

Frantoio Paolo Cassini

EXTREMUM