Continuing our theme of farm-to-table olive oils from our wine and olive growers in France and Italy, here we have one of the true gems of the Mediterranean basin: Punta Crena’s extra virgin oil, produced by the Ruffino family since 1500! The family’s olio is produced from the same olive trees as always, literally, as these ancient trees are now more than one thousand years old. The Ruffinos farm Liguria’s storied Taggiasca variety, which many insist is the world’s greatest culinary olive. Their venerable trees grow on stony terraces high above the Mediterranean along the Via Aurelia, an ancient Roman road that hugs the rugged Ligurian cliffs. This oil is light, aromatic, and flavorful—perfect for fish, salads, and the other Mediterranean cuisine you are likely to enjoy in the spring and summer months.
Castagnoli grows olive trees co-mingled with their vines, on schist terraces looking due west toward the sea in Castellina in Chianti. It is one of the more beautiful corners of all of Italy, and their olives naturally thrive in this wild, organic nature preserve. I look forward to their oil every year for copious use with beans, pastas, ragùs, soups, and greens.
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