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)

Subsoil Communications

As we delight in the fungi that present themselves on our table at this time of the year, it is only right to give thought to those that are subterraneous.  It is quite incredible to think that many of the world’s most sensational events are as a result of fungal activity and that according to many of this planet’s most capable minds, as much as ninety percent of plants depend on mycorrhizal fungi (stemming from the Greek words for fungus mykes and root rhiza), linking trees in a labyrinth of shared networks aptly known as  the ‘wood wide web’.

This ancient network is miraculous. It is the basis on which new ecosytems are founded, is a major factor in holding soil in place during rainfall, helps to defend plants against disease and not only that, but by utilising explicit enzymes and acids, fungi have the capacity to break down many of the toughest substances on our planet such as crude oil, polyurethane plastics and explosive materials.  Goodness, do we need fungi.

Mycorrhizal fungi effectively extend the root area, living in symbiosis with the plant (the fungi gives the plant phosphorus, while the plant feeds the mycorrhizal carbon-dioxide).  But the fungi are also interconnected to each other forming what is known as mycorrhizal networks (CMNs), through which plants and trees in an ecosystem are able to share information such as disease, external threat to the eco-system itself, and pass vital resources to those in greater need. Indeed it has been shown how a dying tree will often share its final resources with more healthy neighbouring plants as a sign of ultimate collaboration for the benefit of the eco-system.

Just as when we eat an apple, we rarely think of the tree, the leaves, the roots, so too with mushrooms we don’t often view the larger picture. But this picture is so vast, so incredibly powerful, it is becoming more and more compelling, and as our environment is so deeply under threat, it must be time for us to look closer, for each of us to gain a minimum understanding of these connections and to get a fuller appreciation of what they might mean to our future.