October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
Continuing our theme of farm-to-table olive oils from our wine and olive growers in France and Italy, this month we bring you 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. –Dixon Brooke
The vineyards of Punta Crena (which is named for a large promontory jutting into the sea at the edge of the village) are all within 1200 meters of the water and enjoy sea breezes that help keep the grapes healthy and happy. The Ruffino family are proud to work almost exclusively with local varietals, but they dont have much company. As a result, several of Punta Crenas wines are one of a kind: the Mataòssu and Cruvin are entirely unique, and the Barbarossa is the only one produced in Italy. They believe that their only job after the harvest is simply to avoid ruining their lovely fruit as it turns to wine. These are light, fun wines with no pretension.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171