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)

Restaurants and Olive Oil

Both for business and for pleasure, we have travelled a good deal this year, frankly more than we should have. I am always curious to see how olive oil is represented in top restaurants outside of Italy because like all fine ingredients, it’s a critical choice for a chef.


What strikes me as interesting is how there is more focus on infused olive oils – think of herb, truffle or citrus infused oils for example than actually singling out different monocultivar oils, to impart a particular element to a dish.


If you haven’t yet gone there, you might think this sounds far-fetched, but a simple example of dressing a lettuce salad with a Tuscan oil allows you to understand that there might be a better match; an oil that will allow the lettuce to play its own role without dominating it.  Very much like fine wine, there are always better matches for each dish when you choose your olive oil. As the new season oils come to our table in the autumn, we will talk more about all of this.


In the meantime, we realise we have our work cut out when it comes to trading with restaurants, there is still a mountain ahead of us, but it’s a good mountain and we’re happy to climb it.


For now, we leave you with some of our favourites that we have encountered this year and that are using really good olive oil in their kitchens.


London               The River Café

South Africa       Tokara Estate in Stellenbosch

New York            Via Carota from the owners of Buvette and I Sodi

New York            Sestina (plant based Italian food, very well executed)

Boston                Pammy’s Cambridge wonderful contemporary interpretation of Italian food

Split                    Uje Oil Bar modern Dalmatian food with a super knowledgeable sommelier