Great Tuscan Olive OilsSHOP OLIVE OILS
A great olive oil is one of Mother Nature's most remarkable gifts—the essence of the olive, bursting with its own constellation of flavors ans aromas, yet capable of marrying with a vast diversity of foods.
And in our view, and the view of many, the world's greatest olive oils come from Tuscany.
Our Labor of Love
Our awakening to the glories of great Tuscan oil came in the
mid-1980’s, when we had dinner one April night at the venerable
Montalcino estate, Il
They were rightly proud of their extra virgin olive oil, encouraging us to pour it on every dish short of dessert. It was exhilarating. We dipped and drizzled with abandon: over the thick Tuscan soup; on fennel bulbs; over the grilled meat, and on thick slices of toasted bread rubbed with garlic cloves.
What we didn’t realize at the time was that we were enjoying a precious commodity, as great Tuscan oil can only be made from tiny yields, and by harvesting early. A tree in the hills near Florence—harvested in November—may yield only a liter of olive oil. Compare this to the commercially farmed trees along Tuscany’s coast—harvested much later—which produce 20+ liters of oil per tree.
After our experience at Il Poggione, we were shocked to discover just how difficult it was to find comparable oils in the United States. Even the expensive oils available here didn’t come close to matching Il Poggione’s. In fact, most of the oils we found were tired, the result of being too old or improperly stored. We were also frustrated by the fact that few labels revealed the olive source or year of production.
We took matters into our own hands. Beginning in 1995, we began importing our own selections. Each November, we taste on site, before the oils are blended—selecting pressings that offer the most character, structure and balance.
We also have the trade’s strictest standards: offering only ruthlessly selected single estate oils; providing clear and informative labels; shipping under strict temperature control and offering the new oils as soon as they are pressed and bottled.
If we’ve become America’s best source for Tuscan olive oil, these are the reasons why.