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)

SICILIAN OLIVE CULTIVARS: FRANTOI CUTRERA

SICILIAN OLIVE CULTIVARS: FRANTOI CUTRERA

Sicily was long in the shadows in terms of its Olive Oil production but since the 1980s, dramatic changes in the quality levels have taken place and now it has a rightful home amongst the best olive producing regions in the World. Whilst most olives are grown on the West of the Island, our attention was drawn to the South East to the Monti Iblei, south of Mt. Etna, where the soil is calcareous and ancient having emerged from the Mediterranean sea two million years ago. Constant movement of the land in these parts has created incredibly rocky terrain, which makes an amazing home to the indigenous cultivars of Sicily.
Siclian Olive Oil is highly fragrant, typically scented with tomato leaf as well as aromatic herbs such as oregano and it is less peppery than central Italian oil. The Cutrera family grows a number of indigenous cultivars, which they harvest when green to preserve the greatest flavour and health benefits.  Here are some basic flavour profiles you might expect to find from the four Olive Oils we love from Cutrera:
Tonda Iblea
This cultivar features a fabulous scent of tomato leaf and freshly mown grass.  A touch of artichoke and rosemary mid-palate make it a benchmark choice for bruschetta.
Cerasuola
The Cerasuola olive features fresh tomato and red pepper flavours.  As the olives for this particular oil are grown at lower altitude and on south-facing groves, the oil is softer and more supple making it a brilliant choice for children and a great accompaniment to pasta, roast or grilled meat and vegetables.
Nocellara Etnea
The Nocellara Etnea cultivar at best is highly herbaceous with flavours of oregano, jerusalem sage and cut grass.  It is fresh, bitter and truly delicious.  Because of this it is brilliant with raw food, especially crudite, tartare or carpaccio of meat or fish.
Olivastro Selvatico
These are wild olive trees that grow spontaneously and are harvested (with difficulty!) right at the beginning of October, green and full of polyphenols.  Fresh and intense with an aroma of cut grass, green almond and chicory.  Bitter and spicy a little goes a long way.