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 Importance of Green Olives

It may surprise you to hear the colour of your olive is purely an indication of maturity.  All olives begin green and only when they mature do they take on flecks of purple and eventually become black. 

Green Olives, indicating harvest in autumn (we are in the thick of it in the northern hemisphere) have a firm texture, naturally higher acidity, brighter flavours and importantly a far higher antioxidant content.  They are however harder to work with in the frantoio and yield a smaller quantity of oil.  The Malaxing process is therefore more complicated and needs constant monitoring to ensure good extraction.

At the other end of the spectrum, black olives picked at the beginning of winter are softer, more buttery and give a higher yield which is why they are often a major component in mass produced Olive Oils.  Worse still is what we would probably describe as wind-falls that are collected bruised from the ground as late as January.  The oil from such olives produces a quality of oil known in Italy as lampante – the oil that would have been used to light the lamps. You may find a proportion of this in regular super market olive oils sold as Extra Virgin.

The olives used by the frantoio owners that we work with come from the beginning of the harvest window and are green.  You can expect these oils to be fully flavoured, distinctively true to their origin and cultivar and extremely good for you, particularly in the first 4-5 months after you receive them (they are good for you for the duration of their shelf life of course, but the polyphenol content does drop back a little as the oils age). It’s important to know what you are eating don’t you think?