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)

Risotto ai Funghi Porcini e Nepitella

Risotto ai Funghi Porcini is a heartwarming dish in the autumn.  It’s often made with dried porcini – but nothing beats the incredible flavour and texture you get with fresh mushrooms in this most seasonal dish.  Adding a little nepitella (calamint in English), lifts this dish brilliantly with its green aromatics (here is a bit more information about nepitella).  This dish should be crowned as the king of autumn. Serves 4.


1 medium sliced white onion

400 g fresh porcini mushrooms

1 glass dry white wine

A few sprigs of nepitella (you can substitute this with a few leaves of mint, origano and basil, shredded)

350g of risotto rice (carnaroli or arborio)

1lt rich vegetable stock

Parmiggiano cheese

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – a central Italian EVOO works perfectly with the base notes of the porcini.  We love Villa Magra Grand Cru from Frantoio Franci for this dish.  This oil can be found in the Monocultivar & Single Grove Box.


Heat the stock up to a simmer.


Separate the heads of the porcini, cut these in slices and set aside.  Cut the rest of the porcini in small cubes and fry in olive oil and a little salt for 4 minutes, add a little white wine, a ladle of the stock and keep cooking for a further 4 minutes. Set aside.


In a separate pan, gently fry up the sliced porcini heads in olive oil for 4 minutes and set aside.


In a wide skillet, gently warm the extra virgin olive oil, add the onions and cook gently until they are transparent. Add the rice, mix well to ensure it’s all coated, then the wine, continue to stir constantly, letting the moisture absorb. Add the stock a ladle at a time, mixing well for 10 minutes.  Add the cooked cubed mushrooms, and then continute to add the stock 1 ladle at a time, constantly stirring until the rice is cooked al dente – take off the heat. Add a swirl of Villa Magra Grand Cru Olive Oil and  a very generous amount of grated parmiggiano cheese,  and the nepitella. Mix well once and leave for a couple of minutes to rest.


Serve with a few sliced porcini heads on the top of the each plate, and a further drizzle of Villa Magra Grand Cru.