` L’Oro del Benàco Celebrates Best of Lake Garda - Olive Oil Times

L’Oro del Benàco Celebrates Best of Lake Garda

Jul. 1, 2015
Ylenia Granitto

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L’Oro del Benàco (The Gold of Benàco), a com­pe­ti­tion ded­i­cated to EVOOs from the area of Lake Garda, also known as Benaco, was held on June 11 by the Producers Association Olio Garda DOP, the orga­ni­za­tion that pro­tects, safe­guards and enhances the pro­duc­tion of EVOOs cer­ti­fied with the Protected Denomination of Origin.

Olive pro­duc­tion of Garda has unique fea­tures. Despite the posi­tion, not far from alpine glac­i­ers, enclosed and pro­tected by moun­tains on the north side and by moraine hills on the south, the largest lake of Italy has a great influ­ence on the cli­mate of its banks and it can be con­sid­ered the heart of the north­ern­most area of olive oil pro­duc­tion in the world.

Next to the 46th par­al­lel, in the province of Trento, the Agraria Riva del Garda pro­duces the DOP Garda Trentino Uliva, the win­ner of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion. If this name sounds famil­iar, that is prob­a­bly because Uliva won the Gold Awards at the NYIOOC for two con­sec­u­tive edi­tions, 2014 and 2015. The Casaliva native vari­ety gives life to a har­mo­nious EVOO with hints of grass, basil and almond.

Snow on the olive trees at Agraria Riva del Garda

Agraria Riva del Garda is a coop­er­a­tive founded in 1926 that con­nects 1,200 olive oil pro­duc­ers and over 300 wine­grow­ers. It has man­aged a mill since 1965 and pro­motes not only high-qual­ity prod­ucts but also a model of sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture that pays atten­tion to the envi­ron­ment and health,” the tech­ni­cal man­ager Furio Battelini said.

A long­time wine­maker, since 2007 Battelini has been involved with the coop­er­a­tive in the pro­duc­tion of olive oil for love,” he con­fessed. We con­tinue to study new sys­tems of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. Despite the excep­tional mea­sures taken dur­ing the last crop year, not only the cer­ti­fied organic EVOO, but also the part of pro­duc­tion not cer­ti­fied as organic is treated with nat­ural meth­ods, respect­ful of the ter­ri­tory,” he con­cluded.

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Agraria Riva del Garda cre­ated a sys­tem to incen­tivize indi­vid­ual part­ner pro­duc­ers to main­tain a high level of pro­duc­tion: they are remu­ner­ated based on the qual­ity of the olive oil they pro­vide, which is peri­od­i­cally ana­lyzed, and this prac­tice allows a con­stantly grow­ing qual­ity.

The coop­er­a­tive man­ages 60 per­cent of the olive oil pro­duc­tion of the area but most of it is con­sumed by the farm­ers them­selves and only 30 per­cent of the total pro­duc­tion is reserved for a niche mar­ket.

The sec­ond excel­lent prod­uct on the podium of L’Oro del Benàco is the DOP Eastern Garda Fondo Brè of Azienda Agricola Marchese Guidalberto di Canossa. It is a beau­ti­ful estate in the hills of the east­ern side of Lake Garda, whose ter­ri­tory cov­ers two dis­tricts, Garda and Torri del Benaco, province of Verona. Of the 300 meters above sea level, about 27 acres are devoted to an olive grove of over 4,000 plants con­sist­ing mostly of Casaliva and some Trepp, Leccino and Pendolino.

Alessandra di Canossa and Seppia

Alessandra joined her father Guidalberto in man­ag­ing the com­pany less than a year ago and she is now proud to con­tribute to the fam­ily busi­ness a touch of youth­ful inno­va­tion. Her debut was imme­di­ately rewarded by the suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion with an har­mo­nious EVOO char­ac­ter­ized by mild fruiti­ness and hints of almond.

Azienda Agricola Marchese Guidalberto di Canossa keeps high stan­dards with a new EVOO, the Cru Canossa 1077, whose bot­tle bears a label ded­i­cated to the 900th anniver­sary of the death of Matilda of Tuscany, a famous ances­tor who was a pow­er­ful feu­dal woman loved by her peo­ple.

Azienda Agricola Marchese Gudalberto di Canossa

The Cru Canossais is the result of a care­ful selec­tion of olives,” Alessandra told Olive Oil Times. We selected only the plants on the hills, the ones closer to home and more exposed to the sun. We want our con­sumers to learn to appre­ci­ate excel­lence. They are close to our heart and our goal is to give them aware­ness in con­sump­tion. They have to under­stand which type of prod­uct they buy, rec­og­niz­ing qual­ity and then claim it.”

Other win­ners at L’Oro del Benàco were the DOP Eastern Garda of Olive Growers Consortium of Malcesine, the DOP Eastern Garda by Fratelli Turri and the DOP Garda Bresciano by Olearia Caldera.

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