Italian olive oil brand Monini, based in Umbria, recently launched its new extra virgin “Primissimo.” This new range hails from the Australian estate in Hillston in New South Wales, where the Monini family planted olive trees imported from Italy in 2004 and 2005.
Primissimo – which means “the very first one” – is actually the first olive oil of the 2011 harvest to appear on the Italian market, as Australia’s seasons (as well as harvests) are inverted in respect to Europe’s. Monini’s Australian harvest of the typical Umbrian varieties Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino took place in April when the austral winter began, while in Italy they are usually harvested between October and November.
The company says its Primissimo extra virgin has a medium intense fruitiness, with almond and green apple aromas, a harmonious oil with a moderate pungency and a gentle hint of bitterness.
While the new product could be seen as a taunt in Italy where everybody expects the “new oil” in the autumn, Primissimo is mainly intended for the Australian market. However 10 percent of the 350,000-liter production has already been bottled and put on the Italian market through Esselunga, one of the leading Italian retail store chains.
European producers have lately been introducing olive oil products with New World origins.
Colavita launched olive oils made in California and Australia, and Star Fine Foods, a division of Spain’s Borges Group, introduced an Arbequina from California’s Central Valley.