De Carlo; AOK Kritsa; Castillo de Canena; Fonte di Foiano; Le Tre Colonne; Frantoio Romano;

Paolo Cassini; Bonamini; Olio Cru & La Gramanosa.

De Carlo
  Located slightly SW Bari, on the SE coast of Italy, where most of Italy's olive oil comes from.                      

Entrance to the De Carlo Olive Oil processing plant in Puglia, Italy

Many awards grace the walls and line the shelves recognizing the dedication of a family that
has pioneered the modern methods of processing olives in Italy and continues to set the standard
for the entire industry.

Here, as you see, a third generation is coming along to carry on this tradition of excellence.

DeCarlo's award winning organic Contrada Torre Marina

AOK  Agricultural Co-operative of Kritsa
The town of Kritsa is just SW of Ag. Nilolaos, a natural harbor in the east of Crete.
In Jan. 2011 Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, went to Kritsa to find out just what kind of difference a policeman, retired after 30 years in the food fraud division in Athens, had made in his home town's olive oil business. The story is a delight and the characters, some of whom you will have seen in the tastings photo, are as colourful and charismatic today as they were when he met them.
   Tom also tells us that, while the Greeks eat more olive oil than any other nationality (21 litres per person), those living on the Island of Crete consume the most, and on that Island the inhabitants of Kritsa consume the most at about 50 litres per person per year. They know their olive oil. They live in and among the trees and it is part of the fabric of their very existence.

Looking over to Kritsa & it's olive trees all the way.

The Kritsa oils are 100% from the Koroneiki Olives which are, here in Kritsa, on the small side, but packed with flavor.

The trees are old, gnarled beauties.

Members of the board showing off their EVOO and blocking the view of
the awards in the cabinets behind. These are slightly more visible in the 'tasting' photo.
These gentlemen represent an entire community which feels committed to producing an
exceptionally delicious and robust EVOO. They have an enviable reputation to uphold.
Rather a healthy looking group I believe.

Cretans live among their olive trees. It is part of the fabric of their lives.
Everyman's treasure. An affordable high quality extra virgin olive oil from Kritsa, Crete,
home of the healthiest people on the planet. They consume a record 50 liters per person
per annum! 

Castillo de Canena is to be found in the Province of Jaen in the south of Spain.
if you're in London you'll find Castillo here

Here we have a completely different operation, a completely different olive cultivar/variety.
The dedication and single minded determination of Paco and his sister Rosa, to creating the best, is
exactly the same as in Bitritto and Kritsa, but their approach is somewhat different.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed as just 2 of these walls illustrate.
Their Luis Vano Olive Oil Research Prize, which is awarded for the best olive or olive oil
research in Spain, was won by researchers at the University of Jaen in 2011 for important work
related to Breast Cancer.

Paco spent the good part of a rainy day explaining his ideal grove.
    The sheep fertilize as they meander between the trees. The leaves that fall, combine with the
pumace (left overs from the oil production) as fertilizer, giving the trees what has been theirs
from the beginning of time....BUT when it comes to processing those perfect olives, the latest proven technology is at hand. There is no facet of this business that either he or his sister are not involved with and concerned about.

Double walled storage tanks allow for water cooling between the walls.
Nitrogen replaces oxygen at the tops of the tanks & experiments continue across the board.

Fonte di Foiano is located in Tuscany, east of Livorno.

This garden of flowers and old olive trees exudes the lush vibrant feel of botanical perfection.
A prize winner from a family dedicated to reaching for, and achieving, new heights.

With a polyphenol count of 1015 this intense Frantoio

extra virgin olive oil zeros in on the importance of anti-inflammatories and

antioxidants without sacrificing taste. Amazing. This families hard work is recognized every

year with awards at many competitions including NY and Flos Olei who rate this farm a 97/100.

Bonamini is east of fabled Verona, and the southern end of Lake Garda, Italy.

Olio Cru is in Trento province. North of Lake Garda and in the foothills of the Alps.
Piazza 3 Novembre, 6/a, 38062 Arco
This grove is situated at the north end of Lac Garda on the slopes of,
and protected by, the Alps. De-stoned olives create both the Coratina
and Casaliva oils, masterpieces combining artistry and technology.

Finca La Gramanosa is about a half hour west of Barcelona, Spain.
Arbequina.This most delicate of olive oils, when harvested early, can still register over 200 polyphenol! La Gramanosa has made a huge effort to make sure the soil its trees live in is the best it can be. Introduced for the first time this year the 2015 harvest of Arbequina and Picual extra virgin olive oils is simply fantastic and reflects the state of the art production facilities coupled with a dedication to producing the very best. Here you have the Arbequina that won Best light, fruity in the world at the Flos Olei competition.
Zumo Picual & Zumo Arbequina are from the VERY early harvest with polyphenol counts of over 400, exceptional for an arbequina. The Picual's deep green tones are also most unusual. Prize winners all.
Nitrogen keeps it away from oxygen until you open it.

Paolo Cassini Will be found in the Liguria region just north of Isolabona and close to the French border.
Situated in the Nervia Valley in the north west corner of Italy, and working solely with the Taggiasca olive,
 the Cassini
family has created ' Extremum Cru', our delicious selection this year. With a Flos Olei rating of 95
and a
polyphenol count of 641, this fits beautifully into our collection of top quality extra virgin olive oils with very high,
or exceptionally high, polyphenol counts.
The Taggiasca olive also adds to the variety we  offer.

Frantoio Romano Head NE of Naples to find this gem.

Once again Frantoio Romano's Riserva  offers yet another Variety, Ortice, and, at 911,a Very high polyphenol count.
If you're anywhere near Naples take a side trip, a bit to the north east to Benevento, and visit this exceptional farm. The
quality of these oils is only possible because of the drive, determination and passion of their creators.

Le Tre Colonne a scant 18 km north of Bari.
Yet another prize winner coratina with an outstanding 1016 polyphenol count this year.