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)

The Forecast

Just a few weeks ago, the pace of life had decelerated significantly in Italy as the languid summer heat became nothing short of an exaggeration. Lack of rainfall for a sustained period of time had taken the shine out of agricultural expectations for this season.


It felt as this was compounded by the socio-economic-political circumstances that are ever present, wherever we live, making it rather hard to make realistic projections for the future.


Sitting in rural Italy, you are acutely aware that the food chain is in considerable crisis because so many lives here are touched by this.  At the production end, the squeeze on raw materials, packaging materials, transportation, availability of personnel is unprecedented and cooking oil has come under a particular amount of strain in terms of supply. And then we have a dry year such as this, which naturally leads to smaller yields.


But then the skies begin to change. The rain has fallen (particularly in northern and central Italy) and the groves are in a far better situation than we could ever have anticipated this year.


This just goes to show that we need to be agile, to be flexible to the seasons and indeed to the forecast.  We often turn to the comfort of the past in challenging moments, as if looking back somehow allows us to go forwards, but we don’t live in an age where lamenting for yesterday will benefit. Instead, we need to be more receptive to change, more attentive to nature and demand less.

And if we can manage that, then we might all be pleasantly surprised by the forecast.