Europe

Central Italian Producers Build on Their Success at World Olive Oil Competition

Producers from the Marche and Umbria regions considered their achievements at the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Olive harvest at Rastrello farm.
May. 19, 2020
By Paolo DeAndreis
Olive harvest at Rastrello farm.

Part of our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion.

The 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Com­pe­ti­tion has brought big results for large and smaller pro­duc­ers in Cen­tral Italy who saw their extra vir­gin olive oils rec­og­nized as world-class prod­ucts by the judg­ing panel.

It comes on top of the ded­i­ca­tion and the hard work that our team put on our groves through­out the whole year.- Chris­tiane Wass­mann, owner of the Ras­trello Bou­tique Hotel and farm

We are a small com­pany oper­at­ing in a beau­ti­ful val­ley, tra­di­tion­ally focused on the pro­duc­tion of Verdic­chio wine,” Francesco Sab­ba­tini Ros­setti, owner of L’Olinda Olive Farm and pro­ducer of the 2020 Gold Award-win­ning Monocul­ti­var Raggi, told Olive Oil Times. Win­ning the Gold Award for one of our best extra vir­gin olive oils sends us really good vibes.”

L’Olinda Olive Farm is an agri­cul­tural com­pany com­pletely devoted to olive oil pro­duc­tion on its more-than 130,000 acres in the Marche region of Cen­tral Italy.

See more: Spe­cial Cov­er­age: 2020 NYIOOC

We pro­duce sev­eral monocul­ti­var extra vir­gin olive oils; olive oils com­ing from a sin­gle vari­ety of olive tree. Tra­di­tion­ally we har­vest the Rag­gia olives in the first half of Octo­ber,” Ros­setti said. We had to over­come a series of adverse con­di­tions in the last cou­ple of years. Our trees are still recov­er­ing from the Burian win­ter storm that hit us two years ago.”

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It brought very cold tem­per­a­tures in mid-March, such an unusual event for our lands,” he added. Many plants have suf­fered and the Rag­gia trees suf­fered even more, being more exposed to those unex­pected and icy winds.”

One of the secrets of Monocul­ti­var Raggia’s qual­ity, Ros­setti said, lies with the pri­vate oil mill the farm can count on. Their Mori mill only processes L’Olinda Olive Farm olives. In the mill area, the extra vir­gin olive oil is stored in ded­i­cated rooms under con­trolled con­di­tions.

We only bot­tle our oil when we ship our orders,” Ros­setti said.

Not far from the Marche region, in Umbria, sev­eral grow­ers also saw their names and olive oils appear on the Offi­cial Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils — the NYIOOC’s guide to the award win­ners.

We are very hon­ored and happy to receive the Gold Award for our Ras­trello extra vir­gin olive oil,” Chris­tiane Wass­mann, owner of the Ras­trello Bou­tique Hotel and farm, close to the town of Pan­i­cale, told Olive Oil Times. It comes on top of the ded­i­ca­tion and the hard work that our team put on our groves through­out the whole year.”

Last sea­son was not an easy sea­son, with more than half of our sprouts lost because of the heat­wave. We depend on rain­fall, and we did not have enough, we even had to replant 40 young trees that did not make it through the drought,” Wass­mann added. We also had some evi­dence of the olive fruit fly spread­ing, but the early har­vest­ing allowed us to pro­tect the qual­ity of our extra vir­gin olive oil.”

To the judg­ing panel, Rastrello’s tast­ing sen­sa­tions include herbs, green pep­per, chicory, spice and arugula.

To Wass­mann, the secret of Rastrello’s suc­cess lies in the respect for our trees, from the organic fer­til­iza­tion to prun­ing and har­vest­ing. We take care of our olives, we are very care­ful about how we han­dle them and we have a strong rela­tion­ship with our local oil mill.”

A Gold Award was also awarded for the third time to the Fres­cobaldi Laudemio extra vir­gin olive oil, which is pro­duced in Tus­cany and imported to the United States by the Mani­caretti Ital­ian Food Importers, who sub­mit­ted it to the com­pe­ti­tion.

I am mostly pleased that the Fres­cobaldi fam­ily is main­tain­ing this noble posi­tion after 30 years,” the founder of the com­pany, Rolando Bera­mendi, said after learn­ing of the award. This oil is pro­duced under the strictest self-imposed rules and con­sid­er­a­tions, and even with all the uncer­tain­ties Mother Nature always has in store for us, it con­tin­ues to be a win­ner.”

Beramendi’s com­pany began import­ing Laudemio extra vir­gin olive oil decades ago.

Lit­tle by lit­tle, with the help of the entire Fres­cobaldi fam­ily and their uncon­di­tional sup­port, we have grown the brand and main­tained a posi­tion of utmost qual­ity in our dis­tri­b­u­tion,” Bera­mendi said. I think after three con­sec­u­tive years of Gold, you could almost call it a clas­sic, as we do.”


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