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)

POLYPHENOLS AND ANTIOXIDANTS IN OLIVE OIL

Olive Oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E and other natural antioxidants that make up the oil’s own natural preservatives.  Antioxidants, as we know, slow the auto-generation of peroxides so delaying the onset of oxidation and as a result antioxidants prolong the oil’s shelf life.

According to Agbiolab (a genetic and diagnostic laboratory. Find out more at www.agbiolab.com), among the antioxidants, compounds have been identified that are associated with human health benefits such as absorbing free radicals and having a positive impact on cardiovascular and cancer ailments, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory.  More than 30 polyphenols have been identified in olives and the total phenol value is their aggregate measure.

Because the level of polyphenols decreases during milling and storage (or in any circumstance where the oil comes in to contact with oxygen), it’s a good idea to consume your oil in the first year of it’s life and the closer to the harvest date, the better it is for you personally.

 The polyphenol content varies depending on cultivar (amongst the highest are Coratina and Moraiolo), depending on irrigation (which dilutes the phenol level in the fruit), and also depending on harvest time (green olives have the highest polyphenol values).  This is gives you a general navigation tool if you are looking for the highest possible health benefit from your olive oil, however, if you get to know individual producers, you can do yourselves an even greater favour.  All of the oils found at FRANTOI have a higher than average polyphenol value as they are harvested so early. 

The highest values throughout the range are (*):

Frantoi Cutrera, Mille    (1,000 mg/kg)

Frantoio De Carlo, Torre di Mossa    (917mg/kg)

Frantoio De Carlo, Tenuta Arcamone  (794 mg/kg)

Frantoio Paolo Cassini, Sciappau  (734mg/kg) this is an incredibly high value for Taggiasca olive oil and is loved by children as well because the oil is not too spicy.

Frantoio Franci, Olivastra Seggianese (577 mg/kg)

Frantoio Viola, Il Sincero Moraiolo (478 mg/kg)

 

And when our selection of olive oil is available to buy in October, we will put together a case of high polyphenol content oils for those of you who are particularly interested in healthy eating.

 

(* Polyphenol levels were recorded for the 2015 harvest and will therefore vary from vintage to vintage depending on the growing season.)