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 2016 olive harvest for Frantoi


It has cooled down significantly here in Tuscany over the past couple of weeks.  Chilly evenings and misty mornings signal the beginning of autumn and we are abuzz with harvest. Each season has its challenges of course and this year has been no exception. Due to a fairly cool and damp spring, flowering was late and sporadic in many areas of Italy. 

This coupled with a warmer winter than usual where the trees didn’t shut down fully for long meant they had less resistance to external problems (it’s the same for all of us!) and an olive fly plagued certain parts of the country reducing yields quite significantly for 2016. 


Despite all of this, our frantoi owners from Garda to Sicily have managed to stick to their organic farming philosophy and have begun to hand harvest the first crop of green olives.  This is hard work, they are harder to pluck off the tree and when it comes to malaxing and pressing, green olives yield less oil.  It might seem like a thankless task… until you taste the results.


2016 is a year to look carefully at what you are buying.  Rather like with wine, in a difficult year, you really get to see the quality of each producer – the most fastidious producers still make amazing Olive Oil, just less of it. As Italy in general will have lower yields, there is likely to be more oil on the market labeled as Italian but perhaps just bottled in Italy with fruit deriving from elsewhere.  Also, the producers that have meticulously sorted their olives before pressing will have made the best oil – and for this reason you have to control the process fully yourself.  Owning your olive groves as well as your own mill (frantoio) puts you at a massive advantage. 

We have selected what we consider to be the very best of the 2016 harvest for you.   Made by people we know and trust.