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)

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The 2019 Season

Most of the 2019 Season has now been pressed and we’ve managed to taste extensively to be able to give you an overview of this tiny, high quality vintage.

This season has been highly influenced by extreme climatic conditions that affected fruit set and so volumes are significantly down.  As reported in the Olive Oil Times, production in Italy is -57% in 2019.

A cold winter followed by almost non-existent, wet spring hit the groves in central and northern Italy in particular and many growers haven’t even harvested a single olive.  At Frantoio Riva on the shores of Lake Garda, poor things are -90% down vs their annual average and Paolo Cassini in Liguria also has a significantly reduced crop.  Central Italy has seen isolated areas of absolutely no olives, for example in the Chianti area of Tuscany where additionally the dreaded olive fly was prevalent in September and October due to high humidity.

Where the flowering season was undisturbed and the autumn humidity hasn’t been too prominent, the olives have happily thrived in 2019 and so whilst this harvest is small, happily the oils we are offering have the intensity, poise and quality that we crave.  This is where it really pays to taste: you need to be sure of the provenance in a year such as 2019 and owning both groves and mill is an additional guarantee of quality and authenticity.

We are so proud of the work that our incredible collection of frantoi have delivered this year and would like to give a particular nod to the wonderful Gregori brothers in Le Marche and the Librandi family in Calabria who have totally transformed their press in the last 12 months.  We hope you will notice an even higher quality from them both this year.

With only a week to go until our 2019 offer closes, it’s time to be quick if you haven’t already placed your order to avoid disappointment. 

Your oils will be dispatched in early December to arrive in time for Christmas.